Pareidolia

Jesus Toast

Pareidolia [pare-eye-doh-lee-uh] is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia (seeing meaningful patterns in random data).

Carl Sagan hypothesized that as a survival technique, human beings are ‘hard-wired’ from birth to identify the human face. This allows people to use only minimal details to recognize faces from a distance and in poor visibility but can also lead them to interpret random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces.

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