Care to Engage in a Little Pareidolia?

Pareidolia Face

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:

Oshkosh Pareidolia

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!

New Bern Faces

About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow Stormy (my personal full time RV mechanic and repairman) and me as we travel all over the US in our Country Coach RV. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks we learn!

2 Replies to “Care to Engage in a Little Pareidolia?”

  1. Generally, the only time I experience Pareidolia is after having consumed mass quantities of American Honey Bourbon.

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Hahaha! You bring up a good point, Jim. While I was completely sober when I took these photos (believe it or not!), alcohol can certainly amplify the Pareidolia experience. Of course the fine line between Pareidolia and apophenia can easily be crossed when heavily indulging!

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