In this clip, Reflecting Pool is seeded with an initial image: a black and white checkerboard. For the first several iterations, the results are what you might expect: a black and white image with ever increasing fine detail. This represents the cyclic structure stepping down through levels of hierarchy.
But after the first several iterations something remarkable happens. Colors spontaneously emerge and the detail coalesces into coherent forms and patterns. Also surprisingly, these forms gracefully morph into different forms despite the fact that the algorithm, and all of its parameters, are unchanging. This is the “strange” part of the loop: the lower levels of detail somehow coordinate with one another to make a coherent big picture.