Snow trick! Plant face, make 3-D selfies

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Hillary Jones and her father, Nelson, planted their faces in a layer of snow atop a car, and her photo looked surprisingly three-dimensional. (Courtesy Fox5 Washington)

Here's a snow trick that makes angels look like amateur hour -- instant snow-sculpture selfies!

You jam your face into soft snow, and take a photo.

A picture of the impression looks 3-D!

The trick was discovered by an Arlington, Va., teenager, Hillary Jones. On a whim, she opened the car door, stepped onto the frame, and planted her face into several inches of snow on the roof. So did her dad. Then she took a photo with her smartphone.

"They were as shocked as the rest of us by how cool it looks," said Beth Parker, reporter for Fox5 in Washington, D.C., which happens to be where her dad, Nelson, works as a photographer.

They did a whole series of face plants and took more pictures, and he showed them at work, inspiring stories not only on www.myfoxdc.com, but around the Internet.

Saw one of those stories, had to try it myself last night, before the rain melted most of the white stuff overnight.

Surprisingly, the snow didn't clog my nose or stick all over my beard, so I didn't even need the towel I brought along.

Truly cool, literally, of course.

And the resulting photo, by golly, does look 3-D, showing that, no, the Jones photo isn't some PhotoShop prank.

Indeed, it's actually an example of a well-known optical illusions, known as the hollow face illusion.

A BBC video shows how it works, using a mask that resembles Albert Einstein. Of course, the protruding side looks like the famous mathematician, but as the mold is rotated, the sunken rear view suddenly looks lifelike, too!

If you tried it, too, and have a photo to share, please send it to stories@phillynews.com.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.