Do you remember how we used to let our imagination run free? As children, we often found magic in the most mundane scenarios, such as lying down on the grass and pointing out what the clouds look like. Once white and shapeless, they suddenly remind us of both real and fantastical creatures like rabbits, elephants, or even giant dragons.

While crossing the bridge into adulthood may have robbed some part of our creativity, many of us still have the talent to spot patterns in inanimate objects. So if you see faces staring back at you from power plugs or toasted sandwiches, then you’ve experienced a phenomenon called facial pareidolia.

It turns out that people are hardwired to see faces virtually anywhere they look and when they do, they're eager to share them with everyone online. Get ready to witness how the most random objects acquire that human-like appearance because Bored Panda has collected some of the best examples from all over the internet. So continue scrolling and be sure to take a look at even more incredible cases of pareidolia in our earlier compilations here, here, and here!

#1

I Just Snapped This Pic And Found That I Also Captured An Accidental Tinkerbell. (The Bug Just To The Left Of The Daffodil Looks Just Like A Little Tinkerbell)

I Just Snapped This Pic And Found That I Also Captured An Accidental Tinkerbell. (The Bug Just To The Left Of The Daffodil Looks Just Like A Little Tinkerbell)

josiechic Report

Nika De Beer
Community Member
1 month ago

Lucky!

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#2

Icicle Shaped Like A Hummingbird

Icicle Shaped Like A Hummingbird

little_totoro Report

tomchambers
Community Member
1 month ago

The beauty of nature!

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#3

Himalayan Monkey Flowers. They Blossom Once Every 20 Years

Himalayan Monkey Flowers. They Blossom Once Every 20 Years

WheelSevere Report

Turt_Le
Community Member
1 month ago

Living up to their name

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Sometimes, our eyes love playing tricks on us. We’ve probably all been there — you look at your delicious meal and suddenly, it looks right back at you. Or you point to the moon and see a man or a rabbit calmly spending their days on the lunar surface. Don't worry, you’re not going mad. Pretty much any observer perceives a familiar look in vague visual patterns, usually of a human face.

To learn more about this tendency to see specific images in the most random objects and ambiguous situations, we spoke with Dr. Jess Taubert, a psychology researcher at The University of Queensland, Australia. When asked whether we are hardwired to see cases of pareidolia in every corner of the visual world, she told Bored Panda that it is difficult to say. However, "there is some evidence that babies detect face-like patterns moments after they are born so that certainly suggests that we are sensitive to faces right from the beginning," she added.

#4

Neptune

Neptune

JeffOvers Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

Sort of looks like a foot in the foreground

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#5

Just Pulled A Door Handle Off, Safe To Say He Was As Surprised As I Was

Just Pulled A Door Handle Off, Safe To Say He Was As Surprised As I Was

PJVeddersGirl Report

Kristel
Community Member
1 month ago

If I only had a heart!

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#6

These Vines In My Neighborhood Look Like An Elephant

These Vines In My Neighborhood Look Like An Elephant

ImKeanuReefs Report

Vasana Phong
Community Member
1 month ago

Imagine what this must’ve look like from afar

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There is evidence that this shared experience evolved because of our need to judge whether a person is a friend or foe. Humans are cautious beings, and our brains are sometimes on high alert to detect possible threats that could jump out at any moment. Yet, our sensitivity toward faces is much more foundational than that, Dr. Taubert argued.

"A bias towards faces might promote parental care while we are young and vulnerable," she said. Moreover, it might support "pro-social behaviors to include being about to evaluate other social agents and decide whether to approach them or not. For example, looking at faces helps us understand speech and understand what other people are attending to."

#7

Lady Of The Corn

Lady Of The Corn

Know0neSpecial Report

Limey Cheesehead
Community Member
1 month ago

She who walks behind the rows (Children of the Corn by Stephen King)

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#8

Smiling Orchids

Smiling Orchids

cybosapien Report

everyone's favorite person
Community Member
1 month ago

I think you might have fallen down a rabbit hole, I'm pretty sure those flowers are from wonderland. Say hi to Alice for me 😉

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#9

So I Came Out The House At 5 This Morning And I Saw This Bloke Leaning On A Wall With A Walking Stick I Thought He Must Be Out Of Breath

So I Came Out The House At 5 This Morning And I Saw This Bloke Leaning On A Wall With A Walking Stick I Thought He Must Be Out Of Breath

Just went back out and he's still there I shouted mate you alright? No reply, so I walked over to check on him and it's a trampoline net hanging over the wall.

No-Glove1428 Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

It still looks like someone out of breath, even close up!

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#10

My Butter This Morning Looks Like A Happy Naked Man

My Butter This Morning Looks Like A Happy Naked Man

kaatastrof Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

Weeee free at last!

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#11

The Pic I Took Of This Fire Looks Like A Deer

The Pic I Took Of This Fire Looks Like A Deer

GayForChopin Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

It's the fire spirit

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#12

This Carrot I Got At Tesco Looks Like A Sassy Pair Of Legs

This Carrot I Got At Tesco Looks Like A Sassy Pair Of Legs

trickyjk Report

tomchambers
Community Member
1 month ago

"Sassy!!" Love it!

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But sometimes, our creativity takes us places we would not expect and can even reveal cognitive biases that are tricking our brains. Dr. Taubert is a co-author of a recent study from The University of Queensland which found that when people see face-like patterns on places like walls in the kitchen or burnt food over breakfast, they are more likely to perceive them as young males.

#13

Two Jumbo Jets Cracking A Joke And Having A Good Laugh, At Miami International Airport

Two Jumbo Jets Cracking A Joke And Having A Good Laugh, At Miami International Airport

iam_fat_guy_ Report

dieter
Community Member
1 month ago

I love this 😍

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#14

I Think My Breakfast Is Threatening Me

I Think My Breakfast Is Threatening Me

johndecoded Report

Adam Chang
Community Member
1 month ago

poisoned

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#15

The White Patch Of Fur On My Puppy's Chest Looks Like A Bird

The White Patch Of Fur On My Puppy's Chest Looks Like A Bird

SaltMeat709 Report

Kristel
Community Member
1 month ago

Batman signal?

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During the study, researchers examined the response of more than 3,800 people to a series of over 200 photos of inanimate objects — some with obvious faces in them, some without — and indicate whether each example had a distinct emotional expression, age, and biological sex. The main aim of this research was to understand whether cases of facial pareidolia carry social signals that human faces usually transmit.

The results showed a striking bias in gender perception. Many more illusory faces were perceived as male than female, especially when the examples provided did not contain obvious characteristics of biological sex. Moreover, since there was an equal number of men and women in the study, the bias was shared by both genders.

#16

Dog Cloud Or Falkor?

Dog Cloud Or Falkor?

TheOldMansGhost Report

Turt_Le
Community Member
1 month ago

Never ending story

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#17

This Piece Of Driftwood That Looks Like A Goose

This Piece Of Driftwood That Looks Like A Goose

JohnnyCashMoneyGreen Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

Or….a goose that looks like driftwood

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#18

Dental Light Looks Like A Water Buffalo

Dental Light Looks Like A Water Buffalo

data_raven Report

Lauren Ward
Community Member
1 month ago

Happy cause he knows what's about to happen to you

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"The male bias is interesting because it suggests that the minimal visual information required to see a face is not sufficient to perceive the face as female," Dr. Taubert explained. "To make that determination, you need more information. This might be related to why we put a hairpiece on a Lego person to make it look female, or a dress on the symbol for a public bathroom to designate it as a female bathroom."

"Other work by Dr. Susan Wardle at the NIH [National Institutes of Health] has recently shown that kids have the same male bias, so it seems to be something we acquire early in life," Dr. Taubert concluded.

#19

My Face When I See The First Snow

My Face When I See The First Snow

gogoforgomez2017 Report

R Z
Community Member
1 month ago

Cars!

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#20

Phoenix Clouds Above Tbilisi, Georgia

Phoenix Clouds Above Tbilisi, Georgia

chop__steaks Report

Marcypie
Community Member
1 month ago

I have the exact pict like this that I took few days ago with my mom!

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#21

Me Too, Pepper, Me Too

Me Too, Pepper, Me Too

judyindaskies Report

Turt_Le
Community Member
1 month ago

Just barely holding it together

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#22

This Water Spill On My Sink Looks Like A Dancing Lady In A Dress And Top Hat

This Water Spill On My Sink Looks Like A Dancing Lady In A Dress And Top Hat

-ratmeat- Report

heidi hunt
Community Member
1 month ago

Mary Poppins

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#23

Pebble Picasso

Pebble Picasso

jonofthesouth Report

heidi hunt
Community Member
1 month ago

Love this

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#24

The Inside Of This Tree Looks Like A Fish

The Inside Of This Tree Looks Like A Fish

molehillmilk Report

Crease Almighty
Community Member
1 month ago

That IS a fish.

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#25

A Hippotatomus, That Is All

A Hippotatomus, That Is All

jr1c Report

Debzmc
Community Member
1 month ago

Hippotato !

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#26

The Fuzz On My Sock Looks Like A Flamingo

The Fuzz On My Sock Looks Like A Flamingo

littleorganbigm Report

N G
Community Member
1 month ago

Fuzzingo

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#27

Dust From A Ramp On My Suede Roller-Skates Looks Like An X-Ray Of My Feet

Dust From A Ramp On My Suede Roller-Skates Looks Like An X-Ray Of My Feet

supervixen456 Report

Catmandu
Community Member
1 month ago

Always watching you(r bones)

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#28

I’ve Come To Clean Your Floors

I’ve Come To Clean Your Floors

uber_spanner_monkey Report

Sarah Ryan
Community Member
1 month ago

Hakuna Matata

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#29

My Cacti Looks Like A Caveman About To Club A Rabbit

My Cacti Looks Like A Caveman About To Club A Rabbit

chrisprattypus Report

FromageFeet
Community Member
1 month ago

Pesky wabbit.

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#30

Mine Bunched Up Sweater Is Staring At Me

Mine Bunched Up Sweater Is Staring At Me

juzkii Report

Vorknkx
Community Member
1 month ago

He judges your poor grammar ;)

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#31

Took This Photo While On A Train. Check Out The White Jacket - Bears A Resemblance

Took This Photo While On A Train. Check Out The White Jacket - Bears A Resemblance

Monkeyman8899 Report

Jo Johannsen
Community Member
1 month ago

😮

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#32

When You Get A Labrador Thrown At You

When You Get A Labrador Thrown At You

jamesnaranja90 Report

Turt_Le
Community Member
1 month ago

Upvote for the caption

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#33

Cloud That Looks Like A Guy About To Eat A Sandwich

Cloud That Looks Like A Guy About To Eat A Sandwich

furikake_bukkake Report

kristina law
Community Member
1 month ago

..or pizza lol

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#34

My Lotion Looks Like A Cat

My Lotion Looks Like A Cat

mb01453928 Report

Turt_Le
Community Member
1 month ago

I think this was on purrrpose

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#35

A Bit Creepy Tree

A Bit Creepy Tree

jjjjjjeg Report

BoredBirb
Community Member
1 month ago

He attack? Worse. He judge.

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#36

My Friend's Shoes Look Like They Are Screaming

My Friend's Shoes Look Like They Are Screaming

ExplodingSofa Report

dieter
Community Member
1 month ago

"So stinky!!!😭😭" lolll

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#37

Dormammu

Dormammu

MsLilo Report

Jo Johannsen
Community Member
1 month ago

Yikes.

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#38

This Carrot Pulled From The Garden

This Carrot Pulled From The Garden

SoDakZak Report

Jo Johannsen
Community Member
1 month ago

Homer?

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#39

Shrivelled Garlic That Kind Of Looks Like Bird With No Legs

Shrivelled Garlic That Kind Of Looks Like Bird With No Legs

Matt12771 Report

BoredBirb
Community Member
1 month ago

Kiwi!

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#40

Sea Devil

Sea Devil

305FUN Report

Sue Lynn Chan
Community Member
1 month ago

I will shat my pants before swimming towards the light in seconds

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#41

The Spilled Yoke From My Fried Egg Looks Like A Chick

The Spilled Yoke From My Fried Egg Looks Like A Chick

KrispeePata Report

Romy Schneider
Community Member
1 month ago

The ghost of the babychicken.

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#42

A Partially Peeled Yukon Potato

A Partially Peeled Yukon Potato

chemispe Report

Kay Yomi
Community Member
1 month ago

Groot?

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#43

This Shadow Looks Like A Person

This Shadow Looks Like A Person

BananaEpicGAMER Report

Debbie Barnes
Community Member
1 month ago

These can be so scary.. I have a fruit bowl on my table that turns into a witches hat, on my door,on a sunny day.... At least I think it is. :/

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#44

This IKEA Plant That Looks Like A Creature

This IKEA Plant That Looks Like A Creature

cccaaatttsssss Report

Turt_Le
Community Member
1 month ago

Mandrake, put your ear muffs on!

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#45

There's An Old Woman's Face In My Belly Button

There's An Old Woman's Face In My Belly Button

taykaybo Report

tomchambers
Community Member
1 month ago

It looks like the Grinch!

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#46

A Piece Of Ice Cream Dropped From My Spoon As I Was Scooping And It Looks Like A Tiny Shark

A Piece Of Ice Cream Dropped From My Spoon As I Was Scooping And It Looks Like A Tiny Shark

theseapriestess Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

Baby shark do do do doooo

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#47

This Coffee Stain On My Table That Looks Like ET

This Coffee Stain On My Table That Looks Like ET

bigdavewhippinwork- Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

Judgy ET

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#48

This Cluster Of Golden Oyster Mushrooms Looks Like Covid-19

This Cluster Of Golden Oyster Mushrooms Looks Like Covid-19

breakyourfac Report

Joy Park
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks like your fungus is going viral

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#49

My Bonsai Tree Kinda Looks Like A Gorilla

My Bonsai Tree Kinda Looks Like A Gorilla

No_Pollution1836 Report

Virgil Blue
Community Member
1 month ago

After Lotr the Ents decided they should stay in shape in case evil ever returns.

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#50

The Back Of My Dog Looks Like An Old Man With A Mustache

The Back Of My Dog Looks Like An Old Man With A Mustache

Hanngrenadee Report

Bisexual_idiot
Community Member
1 month ago

its from his past life!!

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Note: this post originally had 130 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.