Photo: Rob Howarth

Where's Wally? Solved

The science behind the children’s classic

Where’s Wally? (or Waldo) has been a children’s puzzle icon for nearly 30 years. Created by illustrator Martin Handford, the stripy red-and-white character conceals himself among throngs of people and animals, in a series of sweeping tableaux set in an assortment of locations and eras – seemingly at random.
True to our philosophy of seeking pattern in unexpected areas, writer Ben Blatt has employed scientific methodology to determine whether Wally’s hiding places are as random as they seem. In doing so, he has touched upon some intriguing ideas about how unconscious patterns may have influenced Handford’s processes as an illustrator.
Image: Martin Hanford