What is Pareidolia? Have you ever been cloud gazing and seen floating by you a herd of fluffy bunnies on glittery unicorns sprinkling marshmallows over a buttery field of daffodils? (Well, OK – maybe I am the only one who ever actually sees that) Have you ever visualized cumulus faces parading through the sky on a lazy, summer day? Seen a lunar countenance on the full moon?
If yes, then you have experienced Pareidolia which occurs when people imagine faces on inanimate objects. For instance in Oshkosh one year I was haunted by airplane visages. They seemed to keep me under constant surveillance as I wandered among the show planes. I captured as many of their mug shots as I safely could. But wait! That may have been a case of apophenia, the tendency to imagine patterns and plots often giving birth to conspiracy theories. At any rate, see if you recognize any of these suspicious characters:
I received a photography school lesson recently suggesting I begin a project consisting of Pareidolia inspired photos. My daily walks along the waterfront and through downtown here seemed a perfect time to attempt this task. Below are the photos I collected during my walks. I hope you enjoy them and don’t feel badly if you don’t see the faces like I do. That probably means that unlike me, you are perfectly normal!