169 Best Illusions

This special issue, 169 Best Illusions, contains a smorgasbord of static images that appear to be moving (such as the Hatpin Urchin shown here), “impossible” sculptures, freaky faces, ghostly afterimages and even some edible illusions.

Illusions make great eye candy, but they also serve a serious purpose. When we look at an illusion, we “see” something that does not match the physical reality of the world around us. Scientists take advantage of this discrepancy between perception and reality to gain insights into how our eyes and brains gather and interpret (or misinterpret) visual information.