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Ame_Evil's avatar

How do you get the ballerina to spin the other way?

Asked by Ame_Evil (3041points) September 3rd, 2010

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/right-brain-v-left-brain/story-e6frf7jo-1111114603615

No matter how long I stare at it I just can’t seem to swap it.

Also I believe that test to be complete bull, but I just want to be able to switch the ballerina spinning to the other way :D.

So what strategies, if you can describe, do you use if you can make her spin either way at will.

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35 Answers

SuperMouse's avatar

While my boys and I looked at this the ballerina seemed to change directions several times. It happened seemingly randomly with no strategies employed. Also, we all seemed to notice it changing directions at the same time.

syz's avatar

Ack! She initially spun counterclockwise, I shifted my eyes to the left to read the text, and she began to spin clockwise. But I have no idea why and I can’t replicate it.

I tried it again and it switched several times, but again, I can’t seem to control it.

augustlan's avatar

I saw both directions as well, and didn’t do anything to make it happen. So, I stared at it long and hard, and it actually seemed to pause and switch directions purposely. Is that my brain, or is the clip messing with us on purpose?

syz's avatar

@augustlan I too began to wonder if this was a hoax.

Ame_Evil's avatar

Mm tis ok after more staring I managed to do it and now I can just keep her to swap changing, except it has to be at a certain point in her cycle and not really under my control.

What I was focusing on was the feet for any of those interested. And I had to enter a state of mind with no thoughts whatsoever besides a faint will for it to swap directions (but not consciously thinking for it to) if that makes sense.

I don’t think this is a hoax either.

Anyways, what do you think of the article? I think its lacking in evidence and when I first looked at it I saw it rotating clockwise despite my brain barely resembling a right-sided brain :D

SuperMouse's avatar

@syz and @augustlan the boys and I have done this several times over the last couple of minutes and it is truly odd! The longer we watched it, the more it changed differently for each of us! It changed for me while it was still the same for the boy and vice versa. Weird!

Ame_Evil's avatar

@SuperMouse I think the moment it changes is dependent on where in the cycle the position of the ballerina is, which would explain why it changes at the same time. At least whenever i’ve had it changed the feet always seem to be pointing in the same 360 degrees positions.

Arp's avatar

I just found a solution that works! After figuring out how the illusion works (I think it has to do with the lack of depth and layers, meaning the fact could be either facing toward or away from you), I developed a pretty simple method. First, get a peice of paper, or just use your hand to cover the entire model except for the lower foot. Now watch the foot carefully, and focus on it spinning in the other direction (if that doesn’t help, think that whenever it is facing away from you, it is actually facing toward you). Then, once the foot is spinning in the other direction, remove the paper. That should do the trick :)

Arp's avatar

Also, a few more things if the above doesn’t work (just figured them out):

Close one eye (try both), and do the above

Use a second piece of paper to cover the reflection below

If nothing else works, take a break and come back later (if you really want to see it so bad :P)

Seaofclouds's avatar

When I watched it the first time, it was spinning clockwise and did not change any. I went back a second time and it started clockwise then switched to counterclockwise. Then I went back a third time and it started counterclockwise. Then I watched it one last time and it changed directions several times. I didn’t look at it long or try to change it with my mind the first three times, I just stared at it. The fourth time I changed my way of thinking while watching and it changed direction with it. I would focus on how I was feeling and it would switch to clockwise, then I’d think about the logic behind the whole thing and it would switch to counterclockwise. I think it’s interesting and I definitely feel like I am more right brained overall (and that’s how I saw it at first).

marinelife's avatar

I shifted my eyes to the text and she switched. I also saw a hitch in her movements though after staring at her for awhile.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I feel like its on a random timer to switch directions. I saw it skip a couple frames when switching directions.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The paper trick let her foot turn in the opposite direction, but only for a second. And she is bouncing up and down, isn’t she?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Yes, she was for me. I noticed each time she switched for me she was in the air.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Seaofclouds Which direction was she turning for the most part?

El_Cadejo's avatar

mostly clockwise here too. Very rarely will it switch or i reload the page and its doing counter.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Almost all clockwise here too. Which is completely out of the norm for me, but I’m dealing with some issues, so maybe that threw me off normal? Could it change with your outlook?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe When I changed my thinking from thinking about my feelings to something logical, it changed. Then I changed to focusing on my feelings and it changed back. So I think you can change it if you are able to switch your thinking.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I have been staring at it for a while. It seems to change at random after a given time for me. I did notice if I stared at the shadow for a while it would go counter and off the side of the picture clockwise. But i still dont know to say conclusively cause it could have just lined up with the switching? Its not like i can do it on command.

@Seaofclouds how fast is it changing for you? Because it could just be your thinking that intently and it hits that random change point and waaala magic :P

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Seaofclouds Tried that. It stopped, and then started clockwise again.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@uberbatman I’ve watched it 4 times and each time it was different. The first 3 times I didn’t try to change it at all. The first time it didn’t change any (I watched for about 3 minutes or so). The second time it changed once about a minute or so into me watching it (I watched for about 2 minutes that time). The third time it didn’t change any (I watched for about 2–3 minutes). The fourth time I actually tried to change it and it changed 4 times: about 30 seconds into it, then about 20 seconds later, then about 10 seconds after that, and finally about 10 seconds later again. It could have been random. I don’t know that it would have happened randomly 4 times in a row like that though.

shadling21's avatar

Oh cool! I just figured out how to do this. You have to convince yourself that she is spinning the other way and that what is back is front and vice versa. Then you’ll be able to swap it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Alright, i can now conclude its random and it actually changes. I have it open in two windows. One is spinning counter the other clockwise. I highly doubt im somehow thinking with my left side at one picture and my right side at the other even if when i change my focus from one to the other it doesnt flip.

soarwing11's avatar

Sometimes when I blink, it changes. Sometimes when I tilt my head I can get it to switch. Mostly though, she spins clockwise for me.

faye's avatar

Mostly clockwise for me, too, though she switched several times. Is that cause I see both sides of too many issues?

chocolatechip's avatar

@augustlan, @syz, @uberbatman

It’s not a trick.

The ballerina doesn’t actually change directions. She’s not even spinning at all, really. All that is happening is that the image is oscillating side to side. The reason why she might appear to rotate in different directions is because the shape of the silhouette is the same regardless of whether she appears to be rotating towards you or away from you. An easy way to see this is to cover everything but the legs.

le_inferno's avatar

Okay, when I first saw her, I saw her spinning left. Then, I looked again, and she was spinning right, and I could not swap it. Weird.

le_inferno's avatar

Aha!!! I got her to spin left again. The key is to focus on the legs. The leg that’s not swinging faces different ways, changing the direction she appears to be in. That’s how I saw it.

augustlan's avatar

When I first saw it, it was counter-clockwise. I am definitely more of a left-brained person, if that means anything.

faye's avatar

@chocolatechip I tried again and she still spun. I did cover her but for her legs and it looks to me as though she is moving up and down.

shadling21's avatar

@faye @chocolatechip Yeah, it’s a moving 2d image that your brain tries to make 3d. Since it’s a silhouette, however, you can switch the direction you think she’s moving by swapping out foreground and background. Pretty neat

gasman's avatar

Naturally, there’s a Wikipedia article on it. The article states:

The illusion has been incorrectly [3] identified as a scientific personality test that supposedly reveals which hemisphere of the brain is dominant in the observer. Under this unproven interpretation, it has been popularly called the Right Brain–Left Brain test,[4] and was widely circulated on the Internet during late 2008 to early 2009.

It’s compared to other ambiguous figures such as the Necker Cube.

Ame_Evil's avatar

also I find using the shadow helps a lot in reversing it

LostInParadise's avatar

I find I can control the direction by concentrating on the foot that is on the ground. I can’t change it instantly but I can do it withing a few spins.

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