Can You Spot the Panda in This Dizzying Optical Illusion?


Since the January 16 debut of Bei Bei, the newest giant panda cub at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, onlookers have been pouring in to sneak a peek. Meanwhile, the Internet has had its eye on a different panda entirely—and this one’s a little harder to spot.

Russian artist Ilja Klemencov is the creator behind the optical illusion below (called “They Can Disappear”). The work—comprised of black and white zig-zagged lines that reveal a panda when you look at it the right way—is meant to raise awareness about conservation. Giant pandas are one of the most endangered bear species in the world, and have been a symbol of environmental protection for decades.

Ilja Klemencov // imgur

The hypnotic (and somewhat dizzying) image is actually from a few years ago, but has gone viral after reappearing recently on Reddit. If you’re having trouble spotting the appropriately elusive panda, there are a few tricks: take a step back, rotate the image to a near 90 degree angle, or try to focus on a point just slightly away from the image.

When the panda does appear, you might notice that it’s not just any panda, but the logo of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). According to the WWF, the 2014 census found that there were 1864 giant pandas alive in the wild—a number that is still very low, but a positive increase from around 1000 in the late ‘70s.

[h/t IFLScience]