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A new perspective on an Andrus Illusion

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Remembering Jerry Andrus and his Impossible Crate

A major influence in my magical life was my relationship with Jerry Andrus. Besides magic, we shared a love of optical illusions. Jerry’s most famous illusion was his Impossible Crate. I recently took a shot at reproducing that miracle. I now understand why Jerry was reluctant to set it up again. The tweaking of angles is maddening and endless.

Pictured below is one of the small prototypes I made before attempting a larger scale. After photographing it, which captures the "mono-optical" view, I realized there was a third perspective. This additional perspective is easier to see when there are no ropes or a person standing in the crate, like Jerry’s original photo (see below). Jerry never mentioned this third perspective to me. If he never saw a picture of his crate without ropes or himself standing in it, he might never have seen this view.

Three Perspectives from a photograph:

The first perspective (for the photo above) is the Escher style Impossible Crate, where straight boards magically bend. That’s what most people see first. For those not familiar with this illusion, the boards are straight. Your eyes and brain are responsible for the bending.

The second perspective is seeing the actual construction. That’s a difficult perspective, even when you know how it's made.

Can you see the third perspective? One hint: Look for normalcy.

For those who still need help, I’ll post another hint in an upcoming blog. Happy Hunting!


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