Though many of us spent an inordinate amount of time looking for a cartoon panda amid a sea of snowmen last December, one visual artist decided to send us on another panda quest — this time for a good cause.
Finland-based artist Ilja Klemencov created an illusion which initially appears to be a black-and-white zigzag pattern. But if you look at it from the side, or while scrolling down a page, a giant panda appears ... and then just as quickly vanishes.
On the lower right-hand side of the artwork are printed the words "They can disappear."
The image was posted on Imgr and Reddit, and has quickly gone viral; apparently there are plenty of people who can't see the panda at all. But that somewhat misses the point: The artwork is meant to raise awareness of the endangered status of the giant panda species.
Outside of captivity, fewer than 2,000 giant pandas exist.
The panda that is ultimately revealed is from the logo of the World Wide Fund for Nature, which uses the panda as an emblem for all endangered species.
So if you're able to spot the panda in the illusion, congratulations! But the real message is: Hopefully we'll all be able to spot real, live pandas for many years to come.
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