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20 November 2008, JellyBean @ 8:47 am

Nearly every day we see stories in the news about Jesus/Mary/Whoever appearing in a waterstain/piece of toast/tree branch etc. There are also a couple of photos which purpots to show the religious figure of your choice.

There is even a name for this psychological phenomenon involving vague or random things which we perceive as significant. It is called “pareidolia”.

Pareidolia is responsible for much more than Jesus in a a toasted cheese sandwich, it is also the phenomenon responsible for seeing animals/faces in clouds, the man in the moon and hearing hidden messages on songs which are played backwards.

Skeptics often claim that pareidolia is the reason why people hear ghostly voices in white noise, see shadow people out the corner of our eyes and faces on Mars.

Jessica Lundgren from Sweden sent an old photo to paranormal.about.com. The photo shows a Victorian couple with a small child sitting on the knee of the man. But clearly evident is that the child is Jesus. Or rather that the big white hat of the child is Jesus’ forehead and his tiny right forearm is Lord’s upper beard. Jesus’ hair is the vegetation in the background.

Jessica writes that “the child died short after the photo was taken”.

Schizoidman.com has a brilliant page on a number of pareidolia photographs. He lists his top 20 photos, which include:

Boulder with Skull image

The enraged cloud man

The Devil in Queen Elizabeth’s hair

Twin Towers Demon

Dog stain on wall

Darth Vader in a Nebula

You can check them out HERE

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