We promise this optical illusion isn't actually moving

A still of the moving square optical illusion
(Image credit: Jagarikin)

A mind-bending optical illusion of two mystically moving cubes has recently resurfaced on Twitter. The illusion of the cubes moving up, down, left, right and even enlarging, was posted by Japanese artist Jagarikin back in July, and has since gained over 98,600 likes.

The illusion makes use of the reversed phi phenomenon, where shifting light tricks the mind into thinking there is movement. Because our human brain registers a change in light (like the cube flashing from light to dark) as motion, it looks as though the cubes are moving when in reality they are totally static. If you're enjoying this mind-boggler, then you'll love our roundup of the best optical illusions.

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This isn't the first moving shape illusion we've seen, back in November a design made it look like circles were moving in a similar way. As it turns out, Jagarikin was also the mastermind behind the moving circles illusion, which uses the same reversed phi phenomenon. Both illusions are as baffling as each other at first, but after staring at them for long enough, we understand what's going on. 

You might not believe that the squares aren't actually moving, but one user responded to Jagarikin's tweet with a visual aid to help prove that they're dead still. Using squares to cover up the arrows in the middle, the clip (see below) shows that the cubes are completely still. 

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After staring at all these flashing cubes and circles trying to work out if they're actually moving we might need a lie down, but if you're hungry for more then why not check out which optical illusions of 2021 were our favourites. Or if you're an optical illusion artist and are hoping your work will go viral, then check out our guide on how to edit a video on TikTok and get posting. 

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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.