How Many Squares – Round 2

Almost 7 years ago, before the black/blue | white/gold dress, and well before the laurel/yanny controversy, a little image containing a number of lines went viral. The challenge was to count how many squares appeared in the image. Most would agree to observe basic geometry rules, in that a square is a plane figure with four equal straight sides and four right angles. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.

It sparked heated debate on social media, for. . . reasons, leaving many to aggressively defend their personal count and denounce, sometimes quite rudely, any who disagreed. So, I took to After Effects and created a definitive animation, proving there were indeed 40 squares.

Another such image has made its own way onto Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like, again challenging viewers to count the squares, and again there seems to be no end of debate as to how many there are. I can’t explain why people seemed to be fascinated by these posts engineered to be viral, nor why the attraction to be right about something so banal is so strong to those who see it (including myself), but I’ve once again taken to animating the answer to this self-titled Eye Test. Strictly keeping to the shapes (i.e. not counting the word ‘squares’ in the image), there are 18:

I fail to see how this tests one’s eyes.

There you have it. Another mystery solved, I guess. I’m sure commenters will find some reason to say I’m wrong, but video proof is about as strong a piece of evidence as I can provide. If I’ve truly missed a square, I’ll gladly update this post and attribute the correction, but don’t try convincing me that compression artifacts or the pixels themselves (which are never technically square anyway) count.

Christopher Kirkman

Christopher is an old school nerd: designer, animator, code monkey, writer, gamer and Star Wars geek. As owner and Editor-In-Chief of Media Geeks, he takes playing games and watching movies very seriously. You know, in between naps.

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