Why it's incredibly difficult to draw a perfect circle

Let’s face it: drawing circles is hard.

Our minds are programmed to love the symmetry of the shape, but our hands just can’t make it perfect.

We’re so inadequate at drawing circles, scientists have even studied it.

One study found we get worse at drawing the faster we try to go, and another concluded that our brains prefer to move just one joint instead of the many required to create precise circles.

As Rachel Nuwer writes for Braindecoder, the parts of our brains that are responsible for drawing circles and recognising perfection are separate, so they have a hard time working together to produce impeccable circles.

“The circle is one of the hardest shapes to control,” Natalia Dounskaia, a kinesiology professor at Arizona State University, told Nuwer. “The brain doesn’t have enough resources to focus on corrections of movement and do cognitive tasks at the same time.”

So how can you improve your ability to draw circles? You can practice.

This maths teacher from Ottawa, Alexander Overwijk, is known as the “World Freehand Circle Drawing Champion,” though that’s not a real competition. Watch him draw a perfect circle:

You can also take your time, and use your thumb like a protractor, to draw an almost-perfect circle with a pencil, as this demonstration shows:

If you want to test your circle-drawing skills, check out this website that will rate how well you can draw one online. I guarantee you will spend more time than you intend to on it.

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