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First of all: yes, there is an Illusion of the Year contest. And it is pretty spectacular. How spectacular? Well, the brain breaker you see below didn't even win first place. (It did win second place, though, because there is justice in this world.) Made by Kokichi Sugihara at Meiji University in Japan, the "Ambiguous Cylinder" illusion is just so dang perplexing.

This is the description of the piece on the Illusion of the Year site: