Pareidolia

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Pareidolia

Looking for Jesus in all the wrong places

I have a soft spot for pareidolia, as regular readers know. It amuses me to no end to see Jesus and Mary popping up on freeway underpasses, tacos, toast, pieces of sheet metal, Lava Lamps, and the like. I thought that I had seen it all–until now: His image has been seen on rocks, windows…

I must admit, I’m rather happy that October is over, as that means that the local news stations doing all sorts of brain dead fluff stories about the paranormal. On the other hand, if I were still living in Cleveland, I’d miss out on awesome pareidolia like this: Here’s what they’re talking about:

Regular readers know that I’m a bit of a connoisseur of pareidolia, so much so that I even have a category devoted to it. For those not familiar with the concept, pareidolia is nothing more than seeing patterns in things. One of the most famous examples is seeing faces, animals, or other objects in clouds.…

Some Christmas pareidolia

Everyone knows how much I live pareidolia. It never ceases to amaze me how the human mind can impose imagery on everyday things. We’ve seen Jesus on toast, on sheet metal, in rocks, on trees, and in windows. We’ve seen the Virgin Mary on a similar bunch of things–even a Lava lamp or a freeway…

It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a connoisseur of pareidolia. The various shapes and contortions the human mind can impose on clouds, stains, pancakes, trees, toast, Lava lamps, toilet seats, and even medical imaging tests never ceases to amaze me. We are pattern-seeking creatures, and our brains will go to great lengths to…

If there’s one thing Christians tell us, it’s that Jesus is inside each and every one of us. Who knew that this was literally true? Don’t believe me? Take a look at this MRI: Apparently they’ve been wrong all these years when they said that Jesus lives in every man’s heart. He actually lives in…

O Most Holy Pancake!

Alright, I’m officially tired of the latest Age of Autism outrage. So, while I wait for J.B. Handley to strike back (or not), let’s move on to lighter subjects for a moment. And what better to cleanse the palate of the vision of cannibals eating babies as a metaphor for those who standup for science…

Jesus obviously likes Ikea

I don’t know how many of you have ever been to an Ikea, one the Swedish furniture stores that have sprouted across the U.S. over the last couple of decades, bringing Swedish design sensibility and off sized sheets to the the masses at affordable prices; that is, if you can stand the crowds. Apparently Jesus…

Praying to the porcelain god was never a more appropriate term: Cue toilet and bathroom jokes…with Jesus!

While we’re on the subject of pareidolia, it turns out that Mitchell and Webb have taken this topic on as well… Awesome.

Everyone knows that I’m a bit of a connoisseur of pareidolia. Pareidolia, for those not familiar with the term, is a phenomenon where humans see patterns in various things, you know, like seeing Elvis in a flame or the Virgin Mary on a stain under a freeway overpass in Chicago or in a window blotch…

Pareidolia parade 2008

I have to admit that I’ve always had a soft spot for pareidolia, that phenomenon wherein people see things that aren’t there because human brains are wired for pattern recognition. As a child (and even as an adult), I loved lazily looking up at the clouds and envisioning animals, objects, and people in the clouds.…

This was so good that I just couldn’t resist. Yesterday, I did a quick post about an amusing bit of pareidolia, in which the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus were seen in a Lava Lamp. Apparently, an Australian man going by the pseudonym of John Smith noticed the shape in the wax as he fired…

Best pareidolia ever?

Let’s see. We’ve seen the Virgin Mary on trees, under a freeway overpass in Chicago, a window in Perth Amboy, NJ, and even in the brain. We’ve seen Jesus himself show up on toast, on a piece of sheet metal, on a potato chip, on a pierogi, on a ceiling tile, and even on a…

When it rains, it pours (so to speak). Not wanting to be upstaged by that upstart Sarah Palin making an appearance on a piece of toast, prompting the observation that Sarah Palin is toast, the One True God has decided it is time to show who’s really the King of All Pareidolia. I have to…

Does this mean Sarah Palin is Jesus?

We’ve had Jesus, Mary, and a variety of others make their holy presence known on blessed pieces of toast. Now it looks as though we have a new sacred image: That’s right, Sarah Palin has proven her most sacred presence by appearing on a piece of toast! What more evidence do you need that her…

All hail the Jesus Cat!

Sadly, I haven’t seen any good pareidolia stories lately, you know, stories in which someone, usually Jesus, Mary, or the Pope (or sometimes Elvis, who, let’s face it, is basically the same thing as Jesus, Mary, or the Pope), shows up as a seeming image on some sort of object or other. It can be…

It’s almost here. No, not Christmas, although that’s almost here too. what I’m talking about is the fast-approaching 76th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle, which is due to land at Aardvarchaelogy on Thursday, December 20, right in time for the holidays. (And what better time to indulge in a serious dose of skepticism than in…

Papal pareidolia?

One of my favorite phenomena that represents better than perhaps any other how humans are wired to look for patterns, whether there is a pattern there or not, is the phenomenon known as pareidolia. As a Catholic-turned-sort-of-heathen, in particular I like Virgin Mary pareidolia, and have blogged about multiple such incidents. Of course, the Virgin…

It’s here, and it’s on Google Video. I watched it last night, and it was a blistering attack on the irrationality that is so common in our society: Part I begins with Richard Dawkins sitting in on some sort of New Age chanting ceremony (the discomfited look on his face is priceless to watch), after…

This time, it’s from Colorado, and it’s the King: Rock collector LaDell Alexander, 60, has found a stone she swears has the face of the rock king Elvis Presley on it and has taken it home and plans to sell it on eBay in August, near the 30th anniversary of his death. Alexander said “people…

A pareidoliec blast from the past

After attending the ASCO Meeting in Chicago over two weeks ago, I can’t believe I forgot to post about this. More than two years ago, back in my favorite city (Chicago), a vision of the Virgin Mary appeared. It appeared, oddly enough, as such visions are wont to do, in a rather mundane spot. Specifically,…

The other day, I wrote about how the only use of homeopathy that makes sense is its use by a fictional character, namely Doctor Strange, The Sorcerer Supreme. Now, I have been fortunate enough to have been granted a sign that the homeopathic enchantment works! Woe be unto you skeptics! Behold, a vision of the…

The Virgin Mary appears

While I am on vacation, I’m reprinting a number of “Classic Insolence” posts to keep the blog active while I’m gone. (It also has the salutory effect of allowing me to move some of my favorite posts from the old blog over to the new blog, and I’m guessing that quite a few of my…

It seems like only yesterday that I was fisking yet another piece of seriously irritating woo from that expert purveyor of woo, Deepak Chopra. In fact, it was only yesterday that I was fisking part two of Chopra’s woo-filled The Trouble With Genes series. As I mentioned in my previous fisking, I had thought that…