GIF Evolution Cover Photo

Ah, the animated GIF.

Whether it’s a tiny kitten scaring a large dog, or Taylor Swift dancing awkwardly at an awards show, there’s something about seeing a few seconds of time captured in an infinite loop that appeals to us.

Sometimes a situation becomes funnier the longer it plays out, like a Will Ferrell joke; or sometimes we notice details we hadn’t before, and we stare at it for five, or ten, or twenty loops before moving on to the next image.

A GIF can be entrancing and hypnotic when done well (see “Full English” image below) or irritating when done poorly (if the loop is off by a fraction of a second).

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