Aliens have come to Earth to see if there is intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy (they weren't able to tell from our television broadcasts). Help them to come to the right conclusion by determining the missing figure.

enter image description here

There is one "anomaly" in the progression, but this is not a mistake.


I'm going to use numpad notation; i.e. the top row is 789, middle row is 456, and bottom row is 123.

One of the Xs 'bounces' up and down: 4 5 6 5 4 5 6 5... One of them goes in a circle (but not in the corners): 8 6 2 4 8 6 2 4... And one of them skips 3 every time, going counterclockwise: 7 6 1 8 3 4 9 2...

There are many other equivalent ways to write this, but in any case, the final answer is:

the same as the first frame, since each cycle repeats every 8 frames (or a factor of 8).

  • $\begingroup$ I've got a different interpretation that has the same answer: one goes 45654565..., one goes 26842684..., and one goes 16729438... (in a star pattern). $\endgroup$
    – f''
    Aug 16 '15 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ @f'': Yeah, I mentioned there were more interpretations of it. I'll change it to that one, if you don't mind. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Aug 16 '15 at 4:06
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, it's interesting how so many different patterns can explain this. I had rotators of 2,3 CW and a horizontal oscillator. One things for sure: the cycle of 8 frames. $\endgroup$
    – Marconius
    Aug 16 '15 at 4:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Marconius: Yeah, these things can be decomposed in a lot of different ways. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Aug 16 '15 at 4:12

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