Why Do Wheels Turn The Opposite Way On Film?

Have you ever watched a car commercial and noticed how even though the car is moving forward, its wheels appear to be turning backward? That's due to the stroboscopic effect, a strange phenomenon that comes from the interplay of the wheel's movement and the camera's frame rate. See it in action in the video below.

The Stroboscopic Effect

Watch this effect in action with a paper plate and a jet of water.

Levitating Water Experiment

See how a strobe light can make water appear to levitate.

Resonance Pattern Experiment

Discover what happens when you put sand on a flat surface and then make it vibrate with musical tones.

Written by Curiosity Staff October 21, 2016

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