Wednesday, March 5, 2014

More Faces in Objects

When I previously posted photos faces in everyday objects, son Thomas sent me an email: “This is due to a phenomenon called pareidolia – an evolutionary hangover. Quite interesting…”

It turns out he is right. Not that I doubted him (doubting Thomas, ha ha).

This is what Wikipedia says about it:

Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant, a form of apophenia. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.

Apophenia: the human tendency to seek patterns in random information in general, such as with gambling and paranormal phenomena.
Moon rabbit: in folklore, especially Asian, that a rabbit lives on the moon

Carl Sagan hypothesised that as a survival technique, human beings are "hard-wired" from birth to identify the human face. This allows people to use only minimal details to recognize faces from a distance and in poor visibility but can also lead them to interpret random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces. The evolutionary advantages of being able to discern friend from foe with split-second accuracy are numerous; prehistoric (and even modern) men and women who accidentally identify an enemy as a friend could face deadly consequences for this mistake. This is only one among many evolutionary pressures responsible for the development of the facial recognition capability of modern humans.

Well, if I am pareidolic, so be it, because here are more pics of faces in everyday objects:

So there it is, our perceiving faces is part of being hardwired by evolution to recognise dangerous situations.  I thought I was the only one seeing faces constantly looking at me until I realised other people saw it too.  By the way, do your faces talk to you like mine do?. . . 

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