There Are Nine 'Disappearing' Dots in This Optical Illusion—Can You Spot Them?

Spot the nine spots in this tricky optical illusion.
Spot the nine spots in this tricky optical illusion. / Jackpotjoy

The optical illusion below is more than it appears at first glance. Even after three or four glances, you may be struggling to wrap your head around it. That’s because it’s impossible to view all nine dots in the image at the same time. As your eyes scan the picture, the dark spots seem to blink in and out of existence, resulting in some mind-bending visual trickery. 

Dot pattern optical illusion.

This illusion, provided by Jackpotjoy, relies on the weak peripheral perception of human vision. The top, middle, and bottom horizontal lines going across the pattern each have three dark blue dots on them. If you stare at one of the middle dots, you should see only the parallel circles on the same line, while the ones on the lines above and below them will fade out of view. If your peripheral vision is especially poor, you may only see one or two dots at once. Bounce your eyes around the picture quickly and the points will seem to “disappear” and “reappear” in split seconds.

Any change you perceive in this static image is taking place in your brain. Your eyes can’t take in the scene in its entirety, so your brain fills in the gaps with what it expects to be out of focus based on the pattern. By placing dots where you don’t anticipate them, the designers reveal how much of what you perceive is an illusion to begin with.

While this picture was made specifically to trick the eye, other optical illusions can be found in surprising places. After having fun with the image above, see if you can spot the illusion hidden in the MLB logo here.