But the "dark" side of the moon has always, from its perspective, gotten plenty of light. When Earth sees a waning crescent, the far side is nearing fullness.
And it's light in another sense, too: The "dark" side has few of the distinctive dark spots that mark the Earth-facing side of the moon. Those spots are called maria, from the Latin word for sea, because early astronomers mistakenly thought they were lunar seas (they're actually volcanic plains). The smooth and dark maria cover 17 percent of the surface of the moon. Almost all of them are visible from Earth.
Humans first got a look at the far side of the moon in 1959, thanks to the Soviet Union's Luna 3 spacecraft. The images were grainy, but still showed a surface very different from what the moon showed Earth:
NASA now has tens of thousands of images of the moon all the way around, which can be used to make much more detailed projections, like this one:
The mystery of the "dark" side's lighter surface has long been a difficult question for scientists. Although the going theory has been that the maria were the result of a huge asteroid impact, recent research suggests that the dark surface of the Earth-side moon is the result of ancient magma flooding.