Test Your Brain Instantly: Are You A Genius?

Posted by – March 18, 2011

Can You Make This Image Spin Both Ways?

Spinning woman. But which way is she spinning?

Recently a friend of mine sent me an email that contained this image. The email said that:

  • If you see the woman spinning to the left, the left side of your brain is most active.
  • If you see her spinning to the right, the right side of your brain is most active.
  • If you can see her spinning both ways, you have an IQ of over 160.

Now, I know and you know that the IQ stuff is ridiculous. Why bother with all those lengthy IQ tests if measuring IQ was that simple (assuming there even is any such thing as IQ). But, well …. once you’re presented with a challenge like that, who can resist? After five minutes of hard effort, finally I could make her spin either way at will.

The trick is to concentrate on her feet. Suppose at a given moment you see one foot passing in front of the other foot. Imagine that the same foot is in fact passing behind the other foot, at the same moment when you previously saw it passing in front. After a few minutes of effort, suddenly she’s spinning the other way!

A bit of practice and you can make her spin whichever way you please. Congratulations, we’re all geniuses now!

Sadly I now can’t stop looking at the image, trying to make her spin first one way and then another. Aaarghh, it’s so annoying! Worse than those magic eye things!

After a bit of research, I’ve discovered that the originator of this optical illusion is the Japanese web designer Nobuyuki Kayahara. Kayahara’s creation, known as the spinning dancer or Silhouette Illusion and often found titled See Her Spin has achieved a considerable degree of fame and notoriety, deservedly so. What I find particularly imaginative about Kayahara’s work is that he (or she?) has paired an optical illusion with that other staple of viral web content — the naked woman (albeit not a real naked woman!). The originator of the chain email further added the clever viral idea that you have a really high IQ if you can see the illusion spin either way — providing a further incentive to try to do just that!

In spite of the original image being copyrighted, this image (or a close replica) has made its way all over the web and even appears on the New York Times blog.

But before you tear your hair out, tell me — which way do you think she’s spinning? Assume she’s facing you; does she turn towards your right or your left?

Which way is the woman spinning when you first look at her?

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3 Comments on Test Your Brain Instantly: Are You A Genius?

  1. Orsi says:

    wow! I can see it both ways :-D

    • Squiffy says:

      Amazing! I can now, but only after a lot of practice! She always wants to spin left for me; I have to really focus to make her spin right. Weird!

      • Orsi says:

        Yes, same here. But I’m concentrating onto the shadows of her legs and after a minute she changes the direction. So strange :-D

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