Friday, March 5, 2010

Face It. You've Got Pareidolia.


Poor clock. It's so dusty. Does it look sad to you?
My clock (and a tree I saw on my walk recently, photo to come...) reminded me of my love of pareidolia. Are you a fan of pareidolia too?
Pareidolia is the human tendency to see faces and meaningful shapes in things like clouds and clocks and pieces of toast.

Carl Sagan used to say that human beings are hard wired from birth to identify the human face. I love that. It's a cool thing to be able to see a grouping of tiny details from far off and recognize it as a person, even someone we know. But sometimes it does lead us into strange predicaments.

Like when we shuck out $28,000 on ebay for old grilled cheese sandwich.
But who knows. Maybe pareidolia is a gift from God. A way to spread the love around.
(Though I'd bet God would rather you give your $28,000 to people who need it than use it to buy old bread. :)

Hey. There's another example of pareidolia. Seeing a colon and a parenthesis, and noticing a smiling face turned sideways!

Pareidolia does make me happy.
Like the face in this box at the florist's.


Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/escapist/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Or this smiling bag.

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/allythacker/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Cute nose.

This one scares me a little.

Photo byhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/124330160/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

But not this one. It reminds me of a dragonfly.

Photo byhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/28481088@N00/ / CC BY 2.0

Faces are fine, but that's not all pareidolia helps us see.

The End.

Have a great Friday, y'all! My college girl is coming home for Spring Break and we're off for a weekend at the beach. See you Wednesday!
Love, Becky

PS. Enjoy the pareidolia in the cool images that start around the 26 second mark. But beware, it can be kind of spooky.

11 comments:

Ronnie said...

Well, your mind certainly isn't wasted! You crack me up. I'm spreading your Youtube link to facebook this morning.
Have a swimmingly good time at the beach! XO

lotusgirl said...

Oh my. I do this all the time. I even have one in my blog today. The personification of a streetlight.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Often, when my husband makes me breakfast... (which, by the way is a marvelous thing for a husband to do!)... my plate arrives with a face. Two fat strawberries for eyes with a couple of clementines for eyebrows, and a banana smile. I almost hate to eat it.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I can do this! I do do this! I never knew there was a name for it, though.

Rosemary said...

Hi Rebecca,
I didn't know there was a name for that. I have that, ever since I was little. I see faces in things.
Cool!
Have a great weekend,
Rosemary

Kat said...

Haha! I love this! What a fun post!

There is a barn that I drive by fairly often and I ALWAYS see a face on the side of it. :)

zelzee said...

First time stopping by. What a fun post!
And yes, I agree, it's not just faces we see in things!
Enjoy your time at the beach! I loved it when my kids came home from college!!

Corine said...

Thanks for the word, didn't know that is what it was called! I love the box face. Yes, I agree about giving the $28K to charity vs. bread....changing someones life lasts longer than Wonderbread..lol! Thanks for this post...hope you had a lovely weekend.

Laina said...

Hey Becky, this is Laina aka losemymouth--went to Paris and LOVED it. I have some blog entries up at my website: lainabalser.ca

ParisBreakfasts said...

where would Rorshach be without our Pareidolia tendencies?
I recently saw a dod and a cat in two splodges on the subway platform of the N train..I think they are no more though sadly...

Randy and Linda said...

I'm most surprised that there is actually a word for this! Pareidolia - well I certainly have this ability or affliction. I will try to think of it as the former, because it is actually FUN when you identify an object or face. You can actually highlight these with a pen, pencil, paintbrush(!), if one wanted to, depending on the size of it. When ordering floor-vent regulators (the ornate type), I noticed on one type that there were fetus shaped figures in the design! None of the other designs had anything recognizable, just that one - and I strongly rejected it! Can you blame me? Though I really love faces, people, facial profiles, and many identifiable objects. Also, I think it helps if you're a visually-oriented person, and have artistic abilities, because you're already trained, sometimes in school to "see" things in ordinary objects or views.
Great subject, Becky!
Randy