A Deadly and Familiar Face

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These results indicate that the interpretation of ambiguous stimuli depends upon processes similar to those elicited by known objects. These studies help to explain why people identify a few circles and a line as a "face" so quickly and without hesitation. Cognitive processes are activated by the "face-like" object, which alert the observer to both the emotional state and identity of the subject, even before the conscious mind begins to process or even receive the information.

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A "stick figure face", despite its simplicity, can convey mood information, and be drawn to indicate emotions such as happiness or anger. This robust and subtle capability is hypothesized to be the result of eons of natural selection favoring people most able to quickly identify the mental state, for example, of threatening people, thus providing the individual an opportunity to flee or attack pre-emptively.

Rocks may come to mimic recognizable forms through the random processes of formation, weathering and erosion.

A Familiar Face - Unturned Roleplay Outbreak Story S4#3 (Hiding in Plain Sight, Hidden Camp)

Most often, the size scale of the rock is larger than the object it resembles, such as a cliff profile resembling a human face. Well-meaning people with a new interest in fossils can pick up chert nodules, concretions or pebbles resembling bones, skulls, turtle shells, dinosaur eggs, etc. In the late s and early s, Japanese researcher Chonosuke Okamura self-published a series of reports titled Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory , in which he described tiny inclusions in polished limestone from the Silurian period mya as being preserved fossil remains of tiny humans, gorillas, dogs, dragons, dinosaurs and other organisms, all of them only millimeters long, leading him to claim, "There have been no changes in the bodies of mankind since the Silurian period The Rorschach inkblot test uses pareidolia in an attempt to gain insight into a person's mental state.

The Rorschach is a projective test, as it intentionally elicits the thoughts or feelings of respondents that are "projected" onto the ambiguous inkblot images. Renaissance artists and authors have shown a particular interest in pareidolia. In William Shakespeare's play Hamlet , for example, the character Hamlet points at the sky and "demonstrates" his supposed madness in this exchange with Polonius:.

Graphic artists have often used pareidolia in paintings and drawings: Andrea Mantegna , Leonardo Da Vinci , Giotto , Hans Holbein , Giuseppe Arcimboldo , and many more have shown images—often human faces—that due to pareidolia appear in objects or clouds. In his notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci wrote of pareidolia as a device for painters, writing:. If you look at any walls spotted with various stains or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills.

You will also be able to see divers combats and figures in quick movement, and strange expressions of faces, and outlandish costumes, and an infinite number of things which you can then reduce into separate and well conceived forms. Two 13th-century edifices in Turkey display architectural use of shadows of stone carvings at the entrance. Outright pictures are avoided in Islam but tessellations and calligraphic pictures were allowed, so designed "accidental" silhouettes of carved stone tesellations became a creative escape.

There have been many instances of perceptions of religious imagery and themes, especially the faces of religious figures, in ordinary phenomena. Many involve images of Jesus , [13] the Virgin Mary , [22] the word Allah , [23] or other religious phenomena: in September in Singapore , for example, a callus on a tree resembled a monkey , leading believers to pay homage to the "Monkey god" either Sun Wukong or Hanuman in the monkey tree phenomenon.

Publicity surrounding sightings of religious figures and other surprising images in ordinary objects has spawned a market for such items on online auctions like eBay. One famous instance was a grilled cheese sandwich with the face of the Virgin Mary. During the September 11 attacks , television viewers supposedly saw the face of Satan in clouds of smoke billowing out of the World Trade Center after it was struck by the airplane. A notable example of pareidolia occurred in , when observers using telescopes to view the surface of Mars thought that they saw faint straight lines, which were then interpreted by some as canals see Martian canal.

It was theorized that the canals were possibly created by sentient beings. This created a sensation. In the next few years better photographic techniques and stronger telescopes were developed and applied, which resulted in new images in which the faint lines disappeared, and the canal theory was debunked as an example of pareidolia.

Pareidolia can occur in computer vision , [30] specifically in image recognition programs, in which vague clues can spuriously detect images or features. In the case of an artificial neural network , higher-level features correspond to more recognizable features, and enhancing these features brings out what the computer sees.

A Deadly and Familiar Face

These examples of pareidolia reflect the training set of images that the network has "seen" previously. Striking visuals can be produced in this way, notably in the DeepDream software, which falsely detects and then exaggerates features such as eyes and faces in any image. EVP has been described as auditory pareidolia.

Each loudspeaker produces a phrase consisting of two words or syllables. The same sequence is presented repeatedly through both loudspeakers; however, they are offset in time so that when the first sound word or syllable is coming from the speaker on the left, the second sound is coming from the speaker on the right, and vice versa. After listening for a while, phantom words and phrases suddenly emerge, and these often appear to reflect what is on the listener's mind, and they transform perceptually into different words and phrases as the sequence continues.

A shadow person also known as a shadow figure, shadow being or black mass is often attributed to pareidolia.


A Deadly and Familiar Face

It is the perception of a patch of shadow as a living, humanoid figure, particularly as interpreted by believers in the paranormal or supernatural as the presence of a spirit or other entity. Pareidolia is also what some skeptics believe causes people to believe that they have seen ghosts. The Romanian Sphinx in Bucegi Mountains. A Samurai Crab has a shell that bears a pattern resembling the face of an angry Samurai warrior.

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In a work by Wenceslas Hollar a landscape appears to resemble the head of a man lying on his back. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Perception of meaningful patterns or images in random or vague stimuli. Main article: Projective test. Further information: Perceptions of religious imagery in natural phenomena. Retrieved April 1, The Atlantic. August 7, New York: Random House. Cerebral Cortex. The New York Times.

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