Snapshots of a… Crazy Kinda Life

The Misadventures of Messie Jessie

You spin me right round, baby; right round January 29, 2009

Last weekend, while wasting time on the internet looking up magic eyes, optical illusions and mind games, I stumbled across something I had never seen before in my life- the spinning lady illusion. I spent (embarrassingly) the next three hours researching how it worked, and how I could use the power of my mind to control her movement.

A week later, and I’m still thinking about her. 

So here’s the deal: Which way does she spin for you? Clockwise, or counter-clockwise?

Supposedly, if she spins Clockwise for you, you are predominantly Right-Brained. If she spins Counter-Clockwise you are predominantly Left-Brained. (To find out what all this Left-Brain, Right-Brain mumbo-jumbo supposedly means click here)

And here’s the extra special fun part… if you can make her switch directions at will, I’ve heard it means your IQ is over 160.

In all truth, she really does spin both ways. Just have someone look at it with you and see if they say she spins the opposite direction you see her spinning. For me, she initially spun Clockwise. That makes me a Right-Brainer, but that makes sense since I’m a lefty.

Personally, I was more interested in how the dang thing worked. And I wanted to see her go in both directions. I won’t ruin this illusion for you if you don’t want it to be, but if you are curious as to why she can be seen spinning in both directions at once check out this article, or this NY Times article, or the Wikipedia article. (And if you need it explained in plain english, shoot me a comment and I’ll fill you in). 

Now that I know how it works, not only can I see her spin in both directions, but I can see the illusion for how it really works when I look at it in the right way. And just to note, I know my IQ, and while it’s an impressive number, it’s no 160. Take that for what it’s worth.

If you like this and want to see more optical illusions, check out this site:


9 Responses to “You spin me right round, baby; right round”

  1. Mommy G Says:

    ok. ok. I don’t see her spin. Does that mean I’m “No-brained?”
    I admit, I can’t see magic eyes either. All that colored ink on the optical illusion comic page were wasted on me.

    So tell me, what’s the trick for seeing ’em, again? Maybe i’ll give it one more try.

    Just sign me
    Cross-eyed for trying

  2. My guess as to the reason why you can’t see her spin is because you are still using your old computer and the ancient software doesn’t register the image fully, and compromises by keeping her stationary. I’m willing to bet that if you set up your NICE, NEW computer it would show you how this illusion is meant to be viewed! Just my two cents…

    As for the Magic Eye, the beginner way to view it is it put your face right up to the image so your nose it touching it, then slowly pull your face away but keeping your eyes at the same focus as when they were up close. Eventually you will be able to see the 3D image, although it might take a few tries if you never did it before. Eventually, your eyes will just learn how to focus, and you won’t have to pull your face away anymore.

  3. Mommy G Says:

    Well, Miss Messie Jessie, this Tuesday the new computer will be all ready to go with a wireless connection. I took the plunge. So when you visit next time you can bring your laptop!

  4. Whoa! DSL annnnd wireless???? I can hardly believe it! With all your new gadgets and upgrades I’m going to start calling you my Techno-geek mamma!

  5. Mommy G Says:

    Ok! I see her spin! Only thing – she’s spinning counter-clockwise and I think you wrote that means I’m left-brained.
    But I’m left handed and that should mean I’m right-brained!
    Help! I may be Techno Momma, but I’m confused on this one.

  6. Mommy G Says:

    Another day, another spin. Now she spins clockwise. Hmmmm. I guess today I’m in my right mind.
    Any explanations?

  7. Mommy G Says:

    Woo-whoooo! I can make her switch at will! It takes a little effort, but I can! (Hint: I focused on the shadow.)
    Techno-nerd Mamma using both sides of her brain! Imagine that.

  8. If you read the articles I linked, you’ll see a lot of explanation as to why you may see her spin in different directions, depending on when and how you look at her. You’ll also see why it’s not necessarily linked to Left vs Right Brained thinking.

    Congrats for seeing her spin both ways! (That sounds kinda funny, doesn’t it?) You picked up on one of the tricks!

    Truth is, she doesn’t really spin in a full circle at all, but rather, she sways back and forth. I couldn’t find the article where it explained that, so there’s no link to that one. Basically, our brains just make sense of her that way, so that’s why we see her spin one way or another. There’s a trick I learned to see it that way too, but the hint is, you can’t really be looking at her directly to see her sway.

  9. eKazda Says:

    My brother and I stared at this for a while, and we were able to start switching it back and forth at will. We both initially saw it spinning counter-clockwise, but after a few moments of hard concentration, we were both able to begin changing its rotation in our mind. CRAZY!!!

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