The Sciences

Careidolia

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitNov 6, 2009 3:30 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

OK, I know that some people see the face of their religious icons in random things. I've written about this a zillion times. And I know that sometimes it's just pareidolia, our tendency to see faces in random objects. And I know that people will think it's a miracle, when really it's the end-product of thousands of generations of the evolution of our pattern-seeking abilities.

But then there's stuff like this: a guy is "clueless" about how the face of Jesus appeared on his truck window, and why it persists day after day. Oh, I have a clue. It's clearly not random, which means it's either a) divine, or 2) drawn on by someone. My conclusion that it's (2) comes from having a daughter who would take her finger and draw her name in the misty back window of my car when she was younger. And also doing it myself when I was a kid. And seeing eighty bazillion examples of this as a human living in America. So I think someone drew it on the window. The oil from their finger doesn't wash off with water, so every morning the picture reappears with the advent (advent! Haha! A little funny for the upcoming season) on the morning dew. But, of course, that's just me. When I hear hoofbeats I think horses, not zebras. And since I don't live near a zoo or in the African plains, I'm guessing what we have here is a horse-drawn carriage. Um. Well. You know what I mean. Picture credit: (AP Photo/Johnson City Press, Lee Talbert)

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.