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Dizzying horse optical illusion has the internet stumped

A still from the rotating horse optical illusion video
(Image credit: TrippyHub)

What's better than a completely perplexing optical illusion, I hear you ask? Well, an optical illusion that features an adorable animal, of course. And our mind-bending find of the day features a horse – but can you tell which way it's rotating?

A video has gone viral on TikTok of a peculiar geometric horse rotating. The TikTok asks the simple question, 'What direction is the horse rotating?' but it seems to have the internet stumped. Enjoying this brain-frazzler and are now on the hunt for some more? Check out our roundup of the best optical illusions


♬ original sound - luvandrew

The video was posted by TikToker TrippyHub  (a very suitable name), and has accumulated over 6M views and over 290,500 likes. While there is no scientific evidence to prove that the horse is definitely going left or right, I am convinced that the horse is actually looping in a clockwise rotation. 

This is very similar to the spinning ballerina illusion. WhatPsychologyIs explains, "due to the image’s lack of visual cues for depth, the ambiguous 2-dimensional figure can be seen from two different perspectives. This alternation between two perceptual states is referred to as bistable perception.". 

The spinning ballerina illusion

(Image credit: Nobuyuki Kayahara)

It seems as though users on TikTok are just as baffled as we are by the illusion and many have flooded with the comments with their confusion. One user responded, "I can only see left omg," whereas another replied, "I can control which way it moves". While some users have said to squint to see the direction of the horse, others have suggested that the front and back half of the horse are actually rotating separately from each other.

I guess we won't ever know for certain which way the horse spins, but suffice it to say, this trick of the eye has made it into our collection of the best animal optical illusions we've seen. If you liked this illusion then you'll love this other horse optical illusion. Or if you're feeling pretty inspired by all this equestrian talk, then why not check out our step-by-step guide on how to draw a horse?

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Amelia Bamsey
Amelia Bamsey

Amelia Bamsey is Creative Bloq’s Staff Writer. After accomplishing a first class honours 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 many design topics on Creative Bloq, including posters, 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.