Seeing Things That Aren’t There – 10 Creepy Examples Of Pareidolia

Anyone who has looked at the moon to see a face staring back at them has experienced pareidolia, which is the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist.  Essentially, pareidolia is your mind putting pieces together to create something that it can identify.  The object seen can be as big as the Man on the Moon or it can be as small and simple as spotting a familiar shape in an everyday object.  And it can certainly be creepy.

1) The face in the garage door



2) Mom, dad, and child

The effect is so strong in this image that it can be difficult to identify the actual scene.  If you are having trouble, check out the colored image below.  It’s probably not what you were expecting.

Pareidolia_02 Pareidolia_02_2


3) The Face on Mars

This region of Mars is called Cydonia, and it features several hills and mesas that resemble faces when captured by the low-resolution cameras of Viking I and II.



4) Reptilian/Grey Alien on dollar bill

Popular with the conspiracy crowd, an alien shape can be seen on the back of the dollar bill (once some “highlights” are added).



5) Woman in tree

This photo was taken at a wedding in 1942 with a box camera.  It speaks for itself.

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6) Shadow Gorilla


7) Elephant Rock

Located on the Icelandic island of Heimaey is a rocky outcrop appropriately known as ‘Elephant Rock’.



Photograph by Diego Delso, Wikimedia Commons, License CC-BY-SA 4.0


8) Rock Indian Face

Using Google Maps, you can find mountains or large hills that look like an Indian face in Alberta, Canada.

Source: Google Maps

Source: Google Maps

9) Virgin Mary on Toast

Diana Duyser noticed the face after taking a bite of the toast.  She kept it safe for 10 years before putting it on eBay, where it sold for around $28,000.



10) Martian Mermaid

NASA’s Curiosity Rover returned some interesting images from the surface of Mars recently, including this one.  Once zoomed in, the fuzzy shape seemingly resembles some creature hanging out on the rocks.



So just remember, the next time you happen to see a strange face staring at your out of the shadows of your house, it’s just pareidolia.  Right?  Right??

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