Erm, why does this optical illusion keep getting bigger?

There's nothing quite like an optical illusion to boggle your brain. From rotating horses to floating Queen Elizabeths, there are plenty of trippy designs out there to sink your teeth into. When life gives you optical illusions, stare at it until you question your entire reality, right? 

Today's mind-frazzling find has been doing the rounds online, and I honestly can't stop looking at it. The design (see below) appears to be ever-expanding, but in reality, it's a clever still image. The design isn't just baffling brains though, it's also been affecting one particular body part too. Loving this optical illusion and fancy indulging yourself in some more perplexing designs? Just head over to our roundup of the best optical illusions.

The expanding hole illusion

My eyes, my eyes! (Image credit: Laeng, Nabil/Kitaoka)

The optical illusion was designed by Akyoshi Kitaoka and then studied by Bruno Laeng. This mind-boggling design is featured in Laeng's study titled, "The Eye Pupil Adjusts to Illusorily Expanding Holes," and discusses how the dark design tricks the mind into thinking it's in a low-light environment, making the pupils expand. 

If you stare into the hole in the design, it looks like it's getting bigger. Fortunately, there's no super black hole forming in your device, as the paper explains, "The circular smear or shadow gradient of the central black hole evokes a marked impression of optic flow as if the observer were heading forward into a hole or tunnel".

Akiyoshi Kitaoka's optical illusion

How is this completely static image spinning? (Image credit: Akiyoshi Kitaoka)

This isn't the first moving optical illusion we've seen here at Creative Bloq. Back in March, we had our heads spun by a magically rotating optical illusion (see above). And just when you thought you couldn't trust your eyes any less, may I present to you the mysterious moving box illusion?

I don't know about you, but I think I need a lie down after staring at an ever-expanding black hole for so long. If you'd like to have a go at designing your own trippy illusion, then why not download Photoshop and get creating? Or if you'd rather have a look at some more mind-bogglers, then check out our roundup of the best trompe l'oeil illusions. 

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Amelia Bamsey
Staff Writer

Amelia is Creative Bloq’s Staff Writer. After completing a degree in Popular Music and a Master’s in Song Writing, Amelia began designing posters, logos, album covers and websites for musicians. She now enjoys covering a range of topics on Creative Bloq, including posters, optical illusions, logos (she's a particular fan of logo Easter eggs), gaming and illustration. In her free time, she relishes in the likes of art (especially the Pre-Raphaelites), photography and literature. Amelia prides herself on her unorthodox creative methods, her Animal Crossing island and her extensive music library.