Most of SI's regrettable stories and headlines over the years have at least been buried inside the magazine, out of view of casual observers. The same can't be said about some lamentable covers. Overall, we're proud of our track record, but a small percentage of SI's 3,069 covers have left us scratching our heads. Shirley MacLaine in shoulder pads? Fall foliage? And the animals—oh, the animals. To assess the damage, we rounded up the 42 worst book-openers, classifying each by its offense: political incorrectness, poor predictions, flat-out preposterousness.... So, which was the worst? You'll have to go online to find out. Visit our interactive gallery of gaffes at