Off Topic

The Spinning Lady

By Ron Pereira Updated on January 13th, 2011

Spinning LadyOK, are you up for a challenge?

If so, which way is the lady spinning: clockwise or counter-clockwise?

Leave your answer in the comments if you want to play.

And let me just say… don’t be so sure about your answer.

  1. Ron Pereira

    November 24, 2008 - 3:48 pm

    OK, let me be first to respond to my own post! I think she is clearly spinning clockwise. Do you agree?

  2. wim remes

    November 24, 2008 - 3:59 pm

    I can see her spinning both ways, clockwise and counter-clockwise.
    Normally when I start looking at her, she’s turning clockwise.

  3. mike

    November 24, 2008 - 5:04 pm

    For the first few minutes she was spining clockwise now if i squint at just the right moment she’ll reverse the direction she’s spining in so id say both.

  4. tom

    November 24, 2008 - 5:06 pm

    If you blink each time her leg is pointing to the side she “changes direction”.

  5. mike

    November 24, 2008 - 5:10 pm

    She spins and goes up and down but I dont see any arm or finger movement and very little if any leg movement so it looks like a computer or miniature model to me.

  6. Jason

    November 24, 2008 - 5:25 pm

    Cognitive daily eh? I saw her Clockwise the first time, and then figured out the Counterclockwise. Interesting how important a role perception plays.

  7. Sue

    November 24, 2008 - 6:41 pm

    There is not enough information to answer that question. Without that extra bit of information (which leg is actually in front and which is in back at any point in time) it is not possible to know which direction she is spinning. However, my mind seems to make a decision and once made, it’s hard to switch it.

    It’s a nice graphic for experiencing how the brain tries to fill in missing information to solve a problem and once “solved” has difficulty seeing other points of view.

  8. Stefan

    November 25, 2008 - 4:00 am

    counter-clockwise when I look at the shadow on the ground

  9. Chris

    November 25, 2008 - 9:26 am

    I am still going to say that she is spinning clockwise. It is only when I try to trick my brain into seeing the object otherwise do I see her spinning in the opposite direction.

    Much can be said about the power of suggestion.

  10. Fred

    November 25, 2008 - 9:35 am

    Is this one of those things designed to prompt self-questioning of one’s sanity? Nihil est in intellectum quod non prius in sensu. I know, without question, that I saw both.

  11. Gary wood

    November 25, 2008 - 9:43 am

    I think she spins both ways. First clockwise then counter-clockwise.

  12. John

    November 25, 2008 - 9:44 am

    No matter how hard I try to visualize her spinning clockwise, I can’t make that mental jump. She is spinning counterclockwise.

  13. Brian Buck

    November 25, 2008 - 10:21 am

    She spins both ways. For a while it is clockwise then she turns counter-clockwise. This reminds me of a time we tried to make an improvement effort with one day of Gemba and made entirely wrong reccomendations!

  14. Paul Cary

    November 25, 2008 - 10:24 am

    This is a two dimentional animation therefore it cannot spin!

  15. Chris Carson

    November 25, 2008 - 10:33 am

    Judging from the shadow of her foot always moving right to left, I believe she’s always spinning clock-wise

  16. Laurie Sasada

    November 25, 2008 - 10:55 am

    I see her most of the time spinning clockwise, but there are a few times I catch her going counter-clockwise.

  17. RANDY

    November 25, 2008 - 1:22 pm

    Are viewing it from a mirror? I would say clock-wise and the opposite if it is thru a mirror image.

  18. Quinn

    November 25, 2008 - 2:23 pm

    She spins both ways (insert Michael Scott comment) seriously though.

    The reflection on the floor is the giveaway that it is not an optical illusion that can be seen as either way but more of a trick.

    When she is rotating clockwise you would expect to be able to see the reflection of her extended leg as it travels away from the viewer but it disappears.

    When she switches directions to go counterclockwise you can see the reflection of her foot as it travels away from the viewer.

    The mirror floor mysteriously must be changing angles at the same time she switches directions or we are looking at the reverse of the video.

  19. Jeff Anderson

    November 25, 2008 - 3:37 pm

    Depending on the power of the brain at the time, she can be spinning in either direction, or the mind can even make her spin halfway and change back and forth.

  20. Roger Pascoe

    November 25, 2008 - 3:55 pm

    I was just about to write that it’s obviously a clockwise direction when suddenly I saw it the other way.

  21. John

    November 25, 2008 - 4:16 pm

    OK now I can make her spin either way. I just need to close my eyes for a few seconds and then reopen them.

  22. Alan

    November 25, 2008 - 4:23 pm

    Clockwise for me. All day long. I can’t see how anyone sees something else. Just look at her “body parts” and stand in place and mimic her movements. When I do this I see her left foot on the ground when her back is to me. Then she turns to her right which is clockwise.

  23. Bill

    November 25, 2008 - 4:33 pm

    I believe the Spinning Lady is also know as the “Right Brain vs. Left Brain” test. If you see her spinning clockwise, then you use more of the right side of your brain and vice-versa. Reminds me of a blog by Jon Miller where he explained that the counterclock wise flow of a cell is more operator-friendly. I can’t remember the details, but he gave reasons why a counterclock wise flow is better.

  24. Vinay

    November 25, 2008 - 4:58 pm

    I think she spins counter clockwise for sometime and later switches to clockwise spinning.

  25. Roy

    November 25, 2008 - 5:27 pm

    The optical illusion of the lady moving side to side makes it appear that she is spinning and the suggest you made or tribal knowledge would have us believe that she is spinning. But viewing the computer screen at a right angle or a left angle it is clear that in fact she is not spinning at all clearly moving side to side. I don’t have data to support this.

  26. Sue

    November 25, 2008 - 5:42 pm

    Okay, back for a second day to look and I see it in another way now. It’s entirely possible the figure is not spinning circles at all. She could be turning to the right then reversing course and turning back to the left, then reversing course back to the right and doing this over and over. She would not actually be spinning in circles, but would appear to be.

  27. sandie

    November 25, 2008 - 7:28 pm

    I saw her Clockwise the first time, and then figured out the Counterclockwise. ugh.. how come???
    I think the optical illusion of the lady moving side to side makes it appear that she is spinning and the suggest you made or tribal.
    so i agree with Ron..

  28. mike

    November 25, 2008 - 9:32 pm

    If she’s spinning clockwise or she’s spinning counterclockwise the silhouette/shadow will be the same, think about it, how would it be different?

  29. Joel

    November 26, 2008 - 12:15 am

    Both ways. At first I saw her spinning clockwise, that is because of my mindset. But when I tried focusing on her moves I started seeing her spinning counter clockwise. That is perception…

  30. Stacy Eubanks

    November 26, 2008 - 5:38 pm

    Both. at times her right leg is up and she is spinning clockwise and at other times her left leg is up and she is spinning counter clockwise.

  31. Ralf Lippold

    November 27, 2008 - 11:40 am

    It depends on your perspective (as almost everything in life).



  32. dray

    December 3, 2008 - 3:18 pm

    counterclockwise the first 9 revolutions i watched, then 15 clockwise

  33. Suwandi

    December 5, 2008 - 7:06 pm

    I dont see her spinning. She’s standing still, and the “camera-guy” is running around her 😀

  34. Ron Pereira

    December 5, 2008 - 8:13 pm

    Now that’s thinking, Suwandi! Great comment!

  35. Cote

    December 22, 2008 - 3:41 am

    clocwise! watch the shaddow, it appears from right side and goes to left side…so the rotation is clockwise.

  36. Anna

    February 5, 2009 - 4:56 pm

    She is spinning counter clockwise for me… Its difficult for me to make the change to clockwise.

  37. David

    February 19, 2009 - 2:53 am

    ok seriously i cannot see her spin counter clockwise please stop saying you can because I CANT!! :/

  38. Fede

    December 22, 2009 - 8:38 am

    In order to ensure the direction of something spinning, you need to watch it spinning with a perpendicular angle between the rotation plane an your sight

  39. Bruce Baker

    December 22, 2009 - 8:58 am

    Clockwise when looking down from top.

  40. Gary Browning

    December 30, 2009 - 5:26 am

    Is this the lady or the shadow I see ??

  41. Sophie Breslin

    January 5, 2010 - 4:18 am

    When her right hand and leg are up, she is rotating clockwise when viewed from above.

    When her left hand and leg are up, she is rotating anti-clockwise when viewed from above.

    There is no fixed rotation count for when she changes her leg and arm, but she always changes her leg and arm at the same time.

    Either that or I am still under the influence of the New Year Celebrations. Happy New decade to all.

  42. Troy

    July 11, 2010 - 10:17 pm

    Something seems wrong…I sometimes see both clockwise and counter clockwise..I suspect it is something to do with right or left eye dominance ??

    Have not read the other blog comments yet..

    Interesting concept..troy in texas

  43. Josh

    February 21, 2012 - 10:24 pm

    EVERYBODY, if you see the girl spinning right, then that means the right part of your brain is functioning, and if you see her moving left, then the left side of your brain is functioning… NOW, if you see it moving right then blink and see it moving left or vie-versa, then both parts of your brain are functioning but it also means you have an IQ of 160 or higher.

Have something to say?

Leave your comment and let's talk!

Start your Lean & Six Sigma training today.