50 Times People Experienced A Serious Case Of Pareidolia In The Most Unusual Spots (New Pics)
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!
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)
Icicle Shaped Like A Hummingbird
Himalayan Monkey Flowers. They Blossom Once Every 20 Years
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.
Just Pulled A Door Handle Off, Safe To Say He Was As Surprised As I Was
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."
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.
This Carrot I Got At Tesco Looks Like A Sassy Pair Of Legs
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.
Two Jumbo Jets Cracking A Joke And Having A Good Laugh, At Miami International Airport
The White Patch Of Fur On My Puppy's Chest Looks Like A Bird
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.
"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.