The Moon Terminator Illusion

  • Published on Jun 7, 2015
    Sources and sites to learn more below!!!
    dolly zoom effect:
    visual angle:
    great visual angle / angular diameter chart:
    moon terminator illusion resources:
    rogers and olga naumenko (2014):
    moon tile illusion [PDF]:
    the (more famous) moon illusion:
    cylindrical perspective animation:
    graphical perspective:
    optics of perspective:
    keystone effect:
    subjective constancy:
    crepuscular rays:,_India.JPG
    lunar phase interactive:
    car illusion:
    star field illusion:
    hallway illusion:
    Euclid’s Optics: [PDF]
    art resources:
    other geometric illusions:
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 6 979

  • NightCrusher76
    NightCrusher76 Day ago

    When ur foreshortened u look like a forehead only. Boi

  • Savvage Cabbage
    Savvage Cabbage Day ago

    They use the dolly zoom effect in sicko mode music video.

  • Paul Stewart
    Paul Stewart Day ago

    Vsauce, Michael here, you are as clear as mud. I know you're a paid actor and all, but if what you are saying is true, then not only is the moon terminator line an illusion for me here in Illinois, it has to be an illusion for the other 7 billion inhabitants here on earth. Really? The questions begs, how was this determined? By what mathematician? And from what angle was this realized? From outer space? Are we to believe that illusion is the basis for our perception? This is pure skullduggery.

  • KanedaSyndrome
    KanedaSyndrome 4 days ago

    I'm late to the party, but thank you for an amazing video. One of the best. Really liked the music as well.

  • Playboi Catri's Sock

    0:02 8:02 Sicko Mode

  • Robin Weatherall
    Robin Weatherall 6 days ago

    This could quite possibly explain distances in the cosmos being way smaller than once thought due to zooming, maybe not. You're videos are great man, Drawing lesson 101 ere.

  • Waffle Winner
    Waffle Winner 7 days ago

    2:36 dat forhead tho

  • Aviral Verma
    Aviral Verma 8 days ago

    Aww he's always so excited ...Michael I understood everything 👍

  • how life works
    how life works 9 days ago

    Why does he have a vcube
    He could've gotten a gans air

  • Sunita Singh
    Sunita Singh 9 days ago

    0.05sec see seems he is in INDIA
    behind him there is a statue of godess Saraswati

  • AlwaysSagaris
    AlwaysSagaris 10 days ago

    2:52 - 2:55
    All i could hear was
    "The line where my forehead stops and my hairline starts is non existent."

  • cortedemico
    cortedemico 12 days ago

    thank you v sauce. you just convinced me the earth is flat.
    no really.
    it was you and this video that did it.
    again, thanks. i was on the fence.

  • Susuru
    Susuru 13 days ago

    The Dolly Zoom Effect looks like that Sicko Mode effect

  • CAM99
    CAM99 13 days ago

    3:50 who else thought he was gonna say.
    “Or does it?”

  • Sesses
    Sesses 14 days ago

    You have big brain

  • Sesses
    Sesses 14 days ago

    Does that mean the line separating the dark and enlightened face of the moon comme from the future to save Sarah Connor ?

  • Amma K
    Amma K 14 days ago

    tldr: hi's wrong about the icon thing.
    Icons like the one in his example don't have the same perspective as those renessance paintings do. They don't even try to look that way, and it's much more about theology than knowledge or skills of realistic painting. It's based on the prohibition of statues of gods in judaism, which partly spred to christinianity. Orthodox church interprets that prohibition by following a rule in the holy pictures, which doesn't allow "normal" perspective because that would be too close to statues that are three dimentional. The perspective is instead opposite to the western, and seems to come towards the observer, as if the picture takes the one looking at it inside of the scene. They are windows to Heaven after all.

  • TheJudge01
    TheJudge01 16 days ago

    Interesting. Watching educational stuff like this is so much better than the stupid shit of politics. Whats the science behind stupidity? Just a question. Trying to understand people better.

    • TheJudge01
      TheJudge01 15 days ago

      +Adûnâi Not race nor IQ, more like ideaology and behavior in the age of reasoning and still people hold on to irrational beliefs. Even when it goes against their own interest. It's self defeating in my opinion but I don't know theirs and IQ wouldn't provide the answer. There's alot of intelligent people, regular people with good jobs and families, they pay their bills, educated, but a different side will show when it gets personal and they become psychotic. I know a 10th grade math teacher who swears Obamas the anti-christ. Shit like that. You know.

    • Adûnâi
      Adûnâi 15 days ago

      Research race and IQ...
      ...oh wait, that's the definition of politics, my bad :(

  • Random autist
    Random autist 16 days ago +1

    funny how the brain invented a name for itself

  • FairFireFight
    FairFireFight 17 days ago +1

    I need a mind condom because I'm being mind-fucked

  • MC Productions
    MC Productions 18 days ago

    0:02 Micheal gon' sicko mode

  • SuperStandard
    SuperStandard 21 day ago +4

    2:49 when you watch Rick and Morty

  • SandyB433
    SandyB433 21 day ago

    That effect was used in SICKO MODE

    DELL D3LL 25 days ago

    I’m fucking tripping man wtf

  • Austin Veta
    Austin Veta 26 days ago

    What's the name of the opening song?

  • Bradon B
    Bradon B 27 days ago


  • Bradon B
    Bradon B 27 days ago

    Hey papa

  • Mathieu thonon
    Mathieu thonon 27 days ago


  • Queezz
    Queezz Month ago +1

    Yeah no i don’t look at the sun

  • Roger Gaile
    Roger Gaile Month ago +1

    0:05 *sicko mode*

  • TINI A
    TINI A Month ago

    Foreshortning is an Artist best friends you got the forshortning the placement wrong than just throw the drawibg in the trash

  • Sashi_Me
    Sashi_Me Month ago

    Ayy lmao

  • gray & proud
    gray & proud Month ago +2

    This video only really makes sense when you're naked

  • Josh Ely
    Josh Ely Month ago

    Anyone else think "Sicko Mode Music Video" when you saw that intro? lmao

  • Marwan Tawachi
    Marwan Tawachi Month ago

    That's sooo freakin' cool. I've never noticed that stuff about movement and zoom before.

  • Teemu Piiparinen
    Teemu Piiparinen Month ago

    8:15 Is that the reason why people are tailgating? It feels that you go faster than when maintaining proper distance to the car in front of you.

  • Barnacle Scum
    Barnacle Scum Month ago

    2:36 Jimmy Neutron

  • DarMarcus-t
    DarMarcus-t Month ago +1

    time to rewatch the movie

  • Yuan Steven
    Yuan Steven Month ago

    Sicko mode

  • Ntgblast76 bra
    Ntgblast76 bra Month ago

    Well if I find a flat Earther than I'll tell them to watch this

  • A Pasia
    A Pasia Month ago

    Who else is scrolling down and reading comments and not even listening to whatever he is saying.

  • KrissGO
    KrissGO Month ago +1

    1:45 lmao

  • M.A. R
    M.A. R Month ago

    Yeah, ok Picasso, but I don’t exactly see any stick figures on your works. Either talented child, or creative adult is what your works are.

  • Eugene Harold Krabs

    5:25 this is what I've been trying to convince to flat earthers

  • Topher Fitzpatrick
    Topher Fitzpatrick Month ago

    yoooo this is how they did that effect in Sicko Mode

  • Itz Dioun
    Itz Dioun Month ago +1

    2:40 Me after studying for my test

  • JaysonDraws
    JaysonDraws Month ago

    I used to think the moon was following me. When I first discovered it I was like "I'm a wizard!!!!" but science broke my dreams )':

  • Elementary Watson
    Elementary Watson Month ago

    no wonder babies cry all the time. They must be getting freaked out by a lot of stuff till their brain is "trained"

  • Alex Roblox
    Alex Roblox Month ago

    Vsauce: We all know that humans are alive, but why?
    *start the music*

  • Brian Battles
    Brian Battles Month ago

    I soooo love the Jake Chudnow tune Moonmen 0:49

  • UltimateTroll
    UltimateTroll Month ago +1

    2:40 vsauce is an alien confirmed?

  • minh huynh quan
    minh huynh quan Month ago

    This is how to basic

  • Tyler Kimberling
    Tyler Kimberling Month ago

    Does anyone else feel a need to call it the moon toominater effect? (I know it sounds dumb but I just cant help but say it like that in my head)

  • HulZr
    HulZr Month ago


    GET REKT B****

  • Jimmy
    Jimmy Month ago

    So this has nothing to do with a magic trick on the moon involving a T100?

  • Tuncay G
    Tuncay G Month ago

    Every photographer should watch this.

  • Crafts Collection
    Crafts Collection Month ago

    Now im thinking to myself... "Do we even exist?"

  • WhitePencil
    WhitePencil Month ago

    who thought the moon terminator illusion was the name for the phenonomen that happens in the thumbnail of the video. lol.

  • Crazy Red
    Crazy Red Month ago

    Coolest start from Vsauce

  • Joaquín Ceriani
    Joaquín Ceriani Month ago

    what a good POINT OF VIEW

  • Holger Koefoed
    Holger Koefoed Month ago

    fuck you vsauce

  • Jubin Mathew
    Jubin Mathew Month ago

    I love the music at 2:51
    What's it called?

  • Siren Hound
    Siren Hound Month ago

    The moon terminator is a curve, unless you are in the flat moon society.

  • Blake Hagins
    Blake Hagins Month ago +2

    Anyone here from Travis Scott's Sicko Mode?

  • Nick Tokar
    Nick Tokar Month ago

    2:42 That is actually what Michael's head looks like. Everything else is just an illusion.

  • Daevin Dilbeck
    Daevin Dilbeck Month ago

    pause at 2:39
    you can thank me later

  • stan Daesung
    stan Daesung Month ago

    i love him so much

  • Salvador Marmolejo
    Salvador Marmolejo 2 months ago

    Michael, I’ve always wondered why it took “so long” for artists to use proper foreshadowing in pre-Renaissance paintings and you answered it, thank you!

  • ricky huertas
    ricky huertas 2 months ago

    2:40 my brain when i watch vsauce

  • Snow Leopard
    Snow Leopard 2 months ago


  • Viktor Reznov
    Viktor Reznov 2 months ago

    Vsauce should do again some free videos, did Michael forgot about us?

    • Shirokröte
      Shirokröte 2 months ago +1

      Check out the DONG channel. Michael does little "VSauce-light" videos on there.

  • Portable Executable
    Portable Executable 2 months ago

    I'm still painting like a child

  • Adam Silver
    Adam Silver 2 months ago

    Please return to making amazing videos like this one. It's been about 10 months since I watched an original Vsauce video and I have since forgotten how to think until now.

    • Shirokröte
      Shirokröte 2 months ago

      Check out the DONG channel. Michael does VSauce mini videos on there

  • That one Beetlejuice that invaded your quest

    The Terminator Illusion: If you look into Lava, you might see a thumb.

  • Gnate
    Gnate 2 months ago

    Door GET REKT

  • The Kid with the Perfect Grammar

    I don't look at the sky, even if the moon and sun are both up there.

  • Shreerang Vaidya
    Shreerang Vaidya 2 months ago

    Illuminati d

  • gdgd 99
    gdgd 99 2 months ago

    I study architecture and learning about drawing perspectives with vanishing points really makes you have another whole "perspective" about this topic

  • The Daily Brain
    The Daily Brain 2 months ago +1

    6:06, tilt your device backward and you can see the cars are in fact the same size.

  • Martin Gabriel
    Martin Gabriel 2 months ago

    You look like Megamind.

    BLITZN00DLE 2 months ago

    Vsauce is uploading sexc vids again

  • DerpyGuy3333
    DerpyGuy3333 2 months ago

    just went from talking about the sun and moon to looking at old paintings in just over ten minutes

  • Joe Masters
    Joe Masters 2 months ago

    I wonder how many people read this video title out loud in Schwarzenneger's voice

  • Adresse Poubelle
    Adresse Poubelle 2 months ago +2

    I have a bit of a disagreement with the camera experiment. The Moon terminator illusion happens even when the Moon and the Sun are both in our field of view. The line between the wall and the ceiling is always a straight line even on the camera screen across the entire field of view. Only when the field of view changes does the line's slope change. But that's now a different situation from the Moon terminator situation where the whole thing sits in our field of view. I would back up what I just said by insisting that if you take a picture containing both the Sun and the Moon, the illusion still appears, whereas the ceiling's edge is straight. I'm a huge fan of this channel, the few things I happen to know about are explained extremely accurately, much better than I ever could, but I disagree with the validity of the camera explanation and I'd love it if sb could give me their view.

    • rbwannasee
      rbwannasee 2 months ago

      I agree with you. The best and most significant part of this video is 4:20 to 4:37. The rest quite honestly is misleading babble that doesn't really get anywhere. How do you go from a discussion of the moon terminator illusion to the finer points of renaissance art! The path of light between the sun and moon is perceived by an observer on earth as along a 'great circle' on the celestial sphere - easy as that. I've had issues with one of this guys videos before...

  • Yeetbag Mckillme
    Yeetbag Mckillme 2 months ago

    2:45 looking like that Iridociclitus kid

  • swoon drones
    swoon drones 2 months ago

    flat eartherrfs could lerarn something from this, and get over their delusions.

  • Moadot720
    Moadot720 2 months ago


  • sdcsds fdvbdf
    sdcsds fdvbdf 2 months ago

    This is a BS artist. If the sun is on the horizon (= angle zero) then the moon terminator cannot be slanted backwards at all. Otherwise the official science is wrong.
    If the sun is above the horizon at an altitude angle A, then the moon terminator cannot be slanted backwards by more than this angle A. You need to measure and compare only 2 angles.

  • Doug J
    Doug J 2 months ago

    2:34 your IQ when watching vsauce

  • Sir Abhishek
    Sir Abhishek 2 months ago

    We need new videos now

  • White Blogger Black Specs

    Megamind Michael Stevens

  • TheBWoods15
    TheBWoods15 3 months ago

    I imagine illusions like this are used in movies such as Godzilla, Power Rangers, Ant-Man, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, etc.

  • Ghostly
    Ghostly 3 months ago +1

    cool music

  • Artistic Channel
    Artistic Channel 3 months ago

    here's a clue... *clues*

  • Buihongquan W
    Buihongquan W 3 months ago

    8:15 the best illusion ever. Seriously, I recommend you guys to hold your hand up or making a hole with your thumb to try it

  • AceAttorny
    AceAttorny 3 months ago

    Where does Michael work out?

  • Grandpa Chillin’
    Grandpa Chillin’ 3 months ago

    Who dislikes this and why

  • XtremePlayz22
    XtremePlayz22 3 months ago

    Vsauce: why we dont see curved lines
    Me:Beacause the earth is flat

  • Viktor Tomanov
    Viktor Tomanov 3 months ago

    2:10 Holy fudging Molly, thank the Universe the first years of life are unconscious LOL

  • Raul JR Lara
    Raul JR Lara 3 months ago

    Where all my stoners at