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Optical Illusion With 12 Black Dots

This Optical Illusion Is Making Us Question Our Eyesight

A bizarre and maddening optical illusion recently went viral on Twitter and has left people (ourselves included) booking appointments with their optometrists. Twitter user Will Kerslake first shared the illusion on Sept. 11. The picture features a repeated gray pattern and 12 black dots strategically placed throughout the grid. If you look at the design, however, it's practically impossible to see all of the dots at once, as your eyes will only pick up a few at a time. Pretty frustrating, right? Try it for yourself below.

The illusion is referred to as Ninio's extinction illusion, named after French scientist Jacques Ninio. This is how it works: the eye is stimulated by a few of the dots in clusters at a time and effectively ignores the rest. So if your eye is focusing on the top right corner, you'll see the dots and the rest of the image will appear to be homogeneous, like an uninterrupted continuation of the gray lines.

Naturally, the internet is freaking out. Look ahead for some choice reactions.

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