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Pareidolia - What The Eye Sees The Mind Shapes.


Pareidolia is a psychological blip in the brain that takes certain images and makes them into something else.

For example, we see a face in the clouds. A tree may look like a dancer. Jesus appears on a slice of toast and so on. In other words an optical illusion.

Another word that is often used for this phenomenon is Apophenia. Many people these days associate the word with simulacra.

Each one of these are very similar in meaning. Pareidolia translates as besides, alongside or instead.

Apophenia means seeing meaningful patterns in random objects.

And Simulacra, which is generally used today, actually takes its name from likeness or similarity, and is associated with copies of objects such as statues.

But for some reason the word has taken on the meaning of the other explanations above.

So now we have all the academic meanings out of the way, what exactly is it?

The actual psychological event, is to recognise people or things as quickly as possible, but the way our minds work will sometimes cause us to make mistakes in what we see. Hence the Jesus toast, or the Mary Magdalene shadow on the wall.

The Ballet Tree


Pareidolia and Mental Health Projective Tests

You may not have heard of the word before, but I am sure you have seen the psychological test that doctors and psychiatrists use to understand the state of a patients mind.

The Rorschach Inkblot Test is called a Projective Test. This encourages the subject to say what he sees in pictures that are literally just blots of ink on paper.

Of course many people have undergone these tests over the years, and because they are so well known the subject can and will cheat by telling the psychiatrist what he or she wants to hear.

The Pope?


EVP? or Pareidolia.

Auditory Pareidolia.

Pareidolia doesn't just happen with seeing the objects. It can also be hearing that is affected too. Many people who believe in EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomenon will claim till they are blue in the face that the voice they have recorded really is a ghost voice.

For anybody that is not familiar with this form of psychic phenomenon, EVP is a way to listen to so called ghostly voices.

Many people believe that the noises they hear are actually the souls of the departed calling for help, or just saying the persons name. But to others, they are just white noise, or background noise. There has been a couple of films about this phenomenon called, would you believe, White Noise!

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Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonard Da Vinci wrote in his notebooks that Pareidolia was a good device for painters. He said that:

'If you look at walls that have various stains or spots you will be able to 'see' or invent a scene that resembles different landscapes such as mountains or rocks, valleys or trees. Expressions on faces will emerge, and outlandish clothes and costumes will be able to reduce into separate and conceived forms'.

Many artists went on to paint amazing pictures based on the 'Seeing not what the eye sees, but the mind perceives' technique.

Pareidolia Or Is It? Watch Out For The 'Ghost' Girl! at 1.59 Mins

The Cross Cloud


Why We See Faces In the Clouds

We are all hard wired to see faces from a very early age. And the fact is we only need to see a portion of the persons face to recognise it. Try it out for yourself.Take a quick look at your partners face, then turn away and explain exactly what they look like.

Even better, try to draw their face. If you are pretty good at drawing you will still see differences between your partners real face and what you perceive. Strange eh?

The advantages of this 'split second' reaction to a face is so that you can tell the difference between a friend and an enemy very quickly. Which goes a long way to keeping you safe.

This also explains the face in the cloud phenomenon. All you need is an 'eyebrow' or 'nose' to show up in the formation of the cloud, and you will automatically see it as a face. However if you look closely at the cloud afterwards it will just turn back into the original cloud like shape.

Virgin Mary Pareidolia


Nell Rose (author) from England on September 06, 2019:

How brave am I? I did take a look, LOL! yes it is pretty creepy, isn't it? I can understand you're scared of traveling near them. thanks Moral Man

Moral Man on September 05, 2019:

Look up the following site: The World's 14 Most Dangerous and Venomous Spiders You Should Avoid At All Costs. Scroll down to the photo at number 1 which is the Brazilian Wandering spider. If you look closely and if you enlarge the photo there appears to be a marking on its face and cephalothorax shaped like a demonic face with one light eye and one dark eye, two large curved horns, and it has a dour, evil expression. It sort of looks like a skull and crossbones with two horns. Did the Devil or a demon create these horrible animals? Thats one of the most evil looking spiders I have ever seen. This particular photo is extra evil and extra scary because it suggests that this particular spider is demon possessed. These highly venomous and highly aggressive Arachnids cause serious pain and serious sickness with their venom, and is one of the reasons Im scared of traveling.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 09, 2015:

Hi Chitrangada, yes me too! and yes I only recently learned the name of it, thanks so much for reading, nell

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 09, 2015:

What an interesting hub!

Since my childhood days, I love watching clouds forming a definite figure. This can also be seen in trees, rocks, walls etc.

Your pictures are so beautiful and expressive. This is a fascinating read and although I am interested in this subject, I really didn't know that there is a name to describe this.

Thanks for sharing this interesting and informative hub.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 21, 2014:

Hi Peg, that sounds fascinating! and yes that's where the first idea of ghost pictures come from, pareidolia, thanks again Peg, and glad you liked it, nell

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on August 21, 2014:

Back again to remember what this is called. For a long time before our ceiling was finished I saw an image of a brown bear in one of the knots of wood. Once I saw it, I couldn't look at the beam without seeing the bear. Now, I've spotted an image behind a photo of my Mom as a child. It looks remarkably like a picture I've seen of her Dad. It's good to know the name for this.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 08, 2014:

Hi anonymoue, glad I wasn't eating when I read your comment! lol! yuck! but so true, and yes I took a look at that demon thing on its back, that is so totally weird! I think that's why we are so scared of spiders, they are so ancient they are firmly stuck in our psychi, and boy they must have been huge back then what with the thinner air and lower gravity! must be genetic memory keeps us freaked out! thanks so much for your comment and reading, nell

anonymoue on August 07, 2014:

Look up on the Internet the Blog of Whall-Demon spider. Its a photo of a Tarantula taken by a man in Texas. On the spider's body called the cephalothorax, there is an image of a demonic face sneering. Its an evil looking face with two beady white eyes, a moustache, a nose. It looks like Satan and it has a cruel, sinister expression. Click to enlarge to see this demon face as the instructions say. Tarantulas are primitive, very ancient spiders closely related to the deadly Sydney Funnelweb spider and the Trapdoor spiders. None of the Tarantulas are known to be deadly to humans but the venom is lethal to small animals, pets, and might be able to kill a human baby. Allergic reactions can kill. New World Tarantulas can also fling their hairs which can be highly irritating if it gets in the eyes, nose, or mouth. Many species have painful venom, and the Orange Baboon Tarantula of Africa has an unimaginably painful bite that's said to be one of the worst pains known to man.Indian Ornamental Tarantulas can cause severe pain, nausea, vomiting, muscular cramps, and coma. Many species of Tarantulas are aggressive to super aggressive. The Thailand Black, the Thailand Cobalt Blue, the Haitian Brown, the Goliath, and the Orange Baboon are all incredibly bad tempered and will raise their huge fangs and strike at anything or anyone that gets too close. The Chinese Earth Tiger Tarantula is also extremely foul tempered with a very bad bite which is said to have killed a human baby. Only a very few species are gentle and allow themselves to be held. These dangerous animals are popular as pets and with collectors. Some pet owners have suffered bites from their "pets." While it may not kill a human, it is no joke to be bitten. Hours and days of severe pain and serious sickness are noted. The large powerful fangs can penetrate human fingernails. So why would a demon face appear on one of these animals? I think its easy to see why. A creature that looks so menacing, malevolent, sinister as this has to have something demonic, Devilish, Satanic as part of its Nature. Just watch, if one can stomach it, how Tarantulas kill and eat their prey. They stab their victims with their dagger like fangs, inject venom, paralyze it or kill it, and suck the blood. Its a painful, horrific death. Its HORRIBLE. You can even say its Devilish. Tarantulas are super ancient and may have existed for 405 million years since the Devonian period, Paleozoic era, long before the Dinosaurs when Trilobites were extant!That's more ancient than ancient. That's one-eleventh as ancient as planet earth itself which is 4.6 billion years old and five times as ancient as Tyrannosaurus which is 80 million years old. By contrast, modern humans are a "mere" 450,000 years old, and agriculture is "only" 11,000 years old. Maybe Satan or demons created Tarantulas. Anything that looks so formidable and sinister with huge venomous stabbing, Satanic looking fangs has to have its roots with the Devil. These horrific animals are one of the reasons why I fear to travel. Thank you for reading.

Nell Rose (author) from England on March 13, 2014:

Hi, Vellur, yes that's so true, its amazing how our minds work, isn't it? thanks so much for reading, nell

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 13, 2014:

An interesting hub about an interesting concept - Pareidolia. I always see shapes in the clouds and it is quite interesting to find out what each one thinks about the cloud. Each one has a different view about the same cloud!

Nell Rose (author) from England on March 12, 2014:

lol! thanks so much Eddy, glad you liked it, and I hope you had a great day too, nell

Eiddwen from Wales on March 12, 2014:

A wonderful hub in all respects Nell and voted up for sure. By the way I thought for a moment that I was not going to find the end of all these comments.;says a lot. Wishing you a great day (or what's left of it) ha!!


Nell Rose (author) from England on February 24, 2014:

Hi beth, they are amazing aren't they? funny how our minds work, thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on February 24, 2014:

Hi rebecca, glad you liked it and thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on February 24, 2014:

lol! Phyllis no you are not nuts! yes pareidolia is a strange phenomenon and something we can all see especially in trees and such, thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on February 24, 2014:

lol! Hi Jackie thanks for coming back and the share! yes Charles seems to be sinking rather than showing himself more in the public eye, the younger ones are more interesting! lol! thanks

Beth Perry from Tennesee on February 24, 2014:

What a fascinating article, Nell. I had not seen the Madonna and Child before, and love it.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on February 24, 2014:

Now I have a name to go with this phenomenon. I have never heard the term pareidolia before but of course was aware of this. Very interesting. The white noise voices is also new to me. Thanks!

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on February 23, 2014:

So glad Jackie brought this hub back up. I do not know how I ever missed it. I stopped telling people I see faces where there really aren't any, because they thought I was nuts ! I see faces often in clouds, trees and other places. My current screen saver is a picture of a misty forest with a path leading into the mists. I see many faces in the trees and they come and go. I believe most of seeing faces is an optical illusion, but, sometimes I think it is something else -- I am clairvoyant, so see a lot of things that others may not see. Great hub, Nell. Up and across.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 23, 2014:

Said I'd be back didn't I? lol Was fun reading everyone's comments. Our famous leader is the only one who never sees anything, lol. Too busy writing I guess to look up. Went out for a picnic today but only clouds we had where the ones where the gov't is trying to poison us and convince us it is jet streams. I wrote about that seems like 5 years ago. lol

Well I will share and see if anyone else shows up. Have a great week! Oh, btw I don't think Charles wanting the press to concentrate on him instead of the youngins is a working, do you? hahaha I love seeing them in the news! Especially Kate's fashions.

Nell Rose (author) from England on October 22, 2013:

Hi Au fait, its fascinating how we do see them isn't it? good points about the white noise, we should never dabble, thanks so much for reading, nell

C E Clark from North Texas on October 22, 2013:

Who hasn't seen objects or faces in clouds, etc.? I know a lot of people really believe if they see the face of Jesus in a cloud formation or the way a piece of fruit is dehydrating that it is somehow a message from God, but I think it is coincidence, and maybe even a little bit reaching for something they want it to be rather than what it is.

As for white noise? People need to be careful about playing with fire. It's incredible how little it takes to entice unwanted spirits into one's life.

Luiz on August 28, 2013:

I remember when I was grnwiog up and we would lay on our backs on the lawn, look up at the clouds and make pictures out of them. That, of course, was "back in the day" - before cable tv and video games. :) I do like the happy faces.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 11, 2013:

Hi suzette, wow! amazing about the hearing voices and comments from years ago, yes its a part of the brain that literally 'pings' up the memory so quickly we can actually hear it or see it. music does it to me too, one moment I am in the present, and then I can see the past so vividly all because of a piece of music, glad you liked it and thanks as always, nell

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on August 10, 2013:

Hi Nell, so glad I read this hub. I believe I may have this condition. I didn't know it was a condition until reading this article. I see and notice patterns and shapes in many things I look at. I have taken art classes and the artists teaching have told me I see the world in geometric shapes. How ironic, because I struggled so in geometry class in high school. LOL Who knew? I also have taken the Rorschach test and psychologists have been amazed at what I see in them - a good amazement I should add. Supposedly, I'm highly intelligent and creative from what I see in ink blots. LOL Again, who knew? I also have experienced the audio part of this condition. It only happens when I was in my grandparents house - I 'hear' comments and conversations from years gone by - our family dinners - Christmas

Eve celebrations etc. It is weird. It's not like hearing 'voices' of the mentally ill, but the pleasant laughter and conversations I had with cousins and relatives. Now, my grandparent's house has been sold, so I can't go back there, and I never 'hear' anything in the past anywhere else. Weird! I think I loved and enjoyed being at my grandparent's when I was a kid, that it all comes flooding back to me when I visited there years later. You always write the most amazing and interesting hubs, Nell. I keep all this kind of stuff to myself because I think people will think I'm crazy if I talk about it. You are the only person I know that has had some of these experiences or has knowledge about these topics. It is a relief to have someone to 'talk' to about these things. Thanks Nell for your unique perspective of the world!

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 30, 2013:

Hi again, the story about the Katydid was fascinating, and I totally agree with you, many animals feel a kindred spirit with us, I have found the photo of the cloud on the internet, and yes its so fascinating, who knows? there are many strange things out there that we just don't know about, and the paranormal fascinates me too, that's what I usually write about on here, but love changing my hubs for a wider audience, thanks once again for your interesting comments, nell

anonymous on July 30, 2013:

The photograph in the book Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena by authors Bob Ricard and John Michell which shows the cloud formation of a Satanic looking human face gazing down at the Statue of Liberty should be seen by everyone. This is one of the best photographic evidence to show that the supernatural is real. If skeptics and unbelievers want proof then this photograph is proof. An unknown photographer took this photo in December 1990. I believe its on page 228 in the book under the category of anomalous cloud formations. This is either supernatural entities or space aliens. Its not an illusion and its not natural. I wish I could download a copy of this photo. Barnes and Noble and Borders bookstores carry this book. Just look at the book and turn to page 228 to see one of the most incredible photographs. There is something Satanic and sinister about this photo indeed. The Statue of Liberty is a Satanic symbol and represents Queen Semiramis the mother and wife of Nimrod. Child sacrifices blood sacrifices witchcraft freemasonry baal worship etc. The Satanic looking human face formed by clouds may very well be the face of the Devil or a demon. The face gazes directly at the Statue of Liberty because the Statue is one of many symbols of Satanis and the occult.

anonymous on July 29, 2013:

Dear Nell I wrote a few comments about spiders on your hubsite. I have also written about cryptids or unknown animals and about God and about the Devil and about unexplained phenomena. ESP out of body experiences near death experiences teleportation time travel time doorways time slips parallel worlds parallel universes aliens demons spirits telekinesis aliens UFOs clairvoyance clairaudience spiritualism theosophy and the astral planes of existence dreaming and lucid dreaming psi trailing in pets and animals and animal intelligence. Dogs cats horses goats sheep antelopes parrots parakeets pigeons songbirds anoles chameleons geckos manatees and dolphins and whales are my favorite animals. Its heartwarming to read about pet dogs cats horses and pigeons finding their way to their human owners over long distances. Pigeons excel in homing ability. I have a flock of wild pigeons in my backyard. I feed them and some of them take food from my hand and one of them perches on me. They are sort of like pets. Pigeons are intelligent friendly tameable and gentle. I wish more birds were this friendly and I wish more mammals were this friendly. Animals have abilities that humans don't have and are superior to humans in numerous ways such as strength speed stamina etc. And some can fly and many can breathe and live underwater. Its also likely that some animals have a sixth sense or ESP. Some animals such as dogs can sense a natural disaster about to strike. I only like friendly loveable animals such as dogs cats horses goats parrots parakeets songbirds and pigeons. Only a few reptiles are loveable such as Anoles Chameleons a few Geckos and a few Agamas. I dislike snakes spiders centipedes scorpions. I like insects such as skippers butterflies and katydids. I had an unusual experience with a Katydid in the summer of 1995. A Katydid appeared at night outside the kitchen window. I wanted to hold it. Now normally insects would react by either flying away or running away or trying to hide or they would just stay still and indifferent when a person tries to hold them. Or if its an aggressive species it may react by threatening to sting or bite. Well this Katydid has strong jaws and could have bitten me or could have tried to escape or it could have just passively ignored me but instead it behaved in a friendly intelligent uninsect like manner. The insect faced me and jumped on me. When I placed him on the ground he jumped back on me. Its uncanny behavior for an insect. This insect seemed to sense I was not a threat and only interested in being friends with it. For 45 minutes he was my pet. He didn't try to hide from me and he didn't try to bite. It was like if you're curious about me then Im curious about you. Its very rare behavior in an insect. Incredible paranormal experiences with Insects have occurred with Katydids Grasshoppers Honeybees and Monarch butterflies. I have also written for the Hubsite Cryptid about living Dinosaurs and unknown animals in Africa. The dinosaur-like Mokele-mbembe of the African Congo and the whale-like Lukwata of Lake Victoria are two very dangerous beasts. Both are mankillers. The Lukwata frequently kills and eats large crocodiles and overturns canoes to slaughter the people in it. Some say the Lukwata is a plesiosaur which survived extinction. Read the Hubsite by Martie Coetser about East Africa where I write at length about the Lukwata. I have also written for Karl Shuker. He has interesting books. Authors Brad Steiger Raymond Moody Loren Coleman and books by Readers Digest about unexplained phenomena are worth reading. Read Fate and Fortean Times magazines. I have had a few other paranormal phenomena occur to me such as poltergeist activity and clairaudience.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 29, 2013:

Hi anonymous, great to see you again, yes I do believe something is going on. I am a great believer in quantum Physics, but also believe that because of the way the universe works, atoms and so on, there must be intelligent life out there that we just don't see. And I mean literally, most people think aliens would come down in spaceships etc, but of course there may be other entities, (aliens) that could be on earth in the form of something we see everyday but just don't 'see'. come on over and join hubpages, your so darn interesting! lol!

anonymous on July 28, 2013:

These phenomena may have a supernatural origin and not just illusions. Rocks trees and cloud formations are known to form faces. How can this be just blind random chance? In the interesting book the Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena by authors Bob Ricard and John Michell theres a photo of an anomalous cloud formation taken by an unknown photographer. The photograph shows a panoramic view of the Statue of Liberty and above the Statue is s large cloud formation showing a human face. Its no illusion. The left side of the face is shown. An eye a nose a mouth an ear and two upcurved horns on top of its head are clearly visible. The face has a cruel evil sinister expression and its tilted in a downward position gazing down at the Statue of Liberty. It looks too real to be just the work of blind impersonal natural forces. Its unmistakably showing a human like face. And the fact that its gazing directly at the Statue is no coincidence. This is no blind impersonal force of Nature and its no blind random accident. This is obviously the work of an intelligent conscious being and slmost certainly its supernatural. The face is evil looking and looks Satanic or demonic. What is the significance with the Statue of Liberty and the fact that this Satanic looking face is gazing directly at the Statue? The Statue of Liberty has occult origins in Egypt and may represent Semiramis. Some believe that Satanism had its earliest origin in Egypt. The Egyptian deity Set maybe the oldest written version of the Devil preceding the Biblical Satan by 2000 to 4000 years. Satan was invented about 2500 to 3000 years ago while Set was known from 5000 to 6500 years ago. Christian fundamentalists will say that these anomalous cloud formations are all demonic manifestations. Of course clouds can't form faces by itself and of course clouds can't form words by itself so its the Devil or its demons who are doing it. Could aliens have something to do with these anomalous cloud formations in the sky? If aliens exist how are they to be classified? Are they Natural like us or are they Supernatural like the Devil and demons? Some entities seem to be a mix of Natural and Supernatural such as aliens fairies and an winged entity called Batsquatch seen by Brian Canfield in 1994. Where is the dividing line between the Natural and the Supernatural? In my own backyard I have seen the figure of a monster and the figure of a goat up in the sky formed by clouds. I failed to get photographs. The anomalous cloud formation showing a Satanic human looking face is as good as what an artist could draw and not just an illusion. This is the best photographic evidence to prove the Supernatural is real. Skeptics and unbelievers should look at and study this photo. Blind natural impersonal random forces of Nature cannot explain this photo. Yes it can be faked. Airplanes can form words with their smoke but this is a face and even the most skilled pilot would have difficulty trying to form a face that looks this convincing. If an airplane pilot made this face then he is incredibly skillful and talented and deserves an award. I just don't think an airplane pilot could do this. Either aliens did this or supernatural entities made this. Maybe the Devil or demons made this. Some unexplained phenomena maybe Satanic or demonic but not all of them. Thank you for allowing me to write.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 24, 2013:

Thanks Kitty, yes great minds think alike! lol! thanks for reading, nell

Kitty Fields from Summerland on July 23, 2013:

I wrote a hub awhile back on this exact topic, but it was called "seeing faces in clouds phenomenon". I even used the jesus toast picture! LOL. Great minds think alike.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 23, 2013:

Hi Koffee, glad you liked it and thanks!

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 23, 2013:

Thanks Laura, great to see you!

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on July 23, 2013:

fascinating article. I often see other things in objects. I didn't know it had a name. Awesome.

Laura Deibel from Aurora, CO on July 23, 2013:

Very interesting, thanks!

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 15, 2013:

Thanks maalarue, Flourish and Mel, glad you liked it, nell

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on July 05, 2013:

I have searched for a name for this phenomenon because I wrote a short story on it once, but I was unable to find it. Thanks for unraveling the mystery.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 05, 2013:

Great hub with awesome photos to explain the phenomenon. I especially like the dancing tree. Voted up and shared!

John Mark from Texas on July 05, 2013:

Very cool. Thanks.

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 03, 2013:

Hi Glimmer, yes that tree is lovely isn't it? so ballet like, thanks so much for reading, nell

Claudia Porter on July 03, 2013:

Wow - interesting hub. I had no idea that there was a name for this. We love laying on the grass and looking for shapes in clouds. Sometimes other things look quite like other things. Love the picture of that shaped tree.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 30, 2013:

Hi jpcmc, thanks so much for reading, yes those Rorschach plates will be interesting, let me know how you get on! lol!

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on June 30, 2013:

I played with my daughter What do you see and darn, she has one huge imagination. She can even whip up stories. Coming from a 2 year old, I was amazed. I think we'll do more of this. I'll try showing her Rorschach plates.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 29, 2013:

Thanks jpcmc, I used to do it with my son when was small too! Its great fun isn't it? Thanks!

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on June 29, 2013:

Fascinating pictures. Sometimes we do this as a game. See what you can see. It's really fun.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 25, 2013:

Hi Christy, I never realised it either, its amazing isn't it? thanks!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 25, 2013:

Hi DDE, thanks so much and I am glad you liked it, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 25, 2013:

Hi alocsin, thanks so much as always, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 25, 2013:

Hi christopher, I think we should all take a breath and look at what is around us, its fascinating too, thanks as always, nell

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on June 25, 2013:

When I was a child, I used to see images in clouds or treetrunks and all sorts of other places. Nowadays I see nothing. I need to slow down and start looking again.

Thanks for a really interesting hub Nell.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 25, 2013:

Wow, I did not know that this phenomenon had a formal name. I imagine that the first Impressionists used this to develop their style. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 25, 2013:

Very interesting seeing shapes in beautiful nature and such a wonderful thought here. You created a fascinating hub on Pareidolia - What The Eye Sees The Mind Shapes, I too see certain shapes in clouds at times and what a different image to work out.

Christy Birmingham on June 24, 2013:

Nell, this is so interesting! I did not know there was a word for and studies on this topic. Really enjoyed the read!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 24, 2013:

Hi Mary, lol! yes me too! Haha! thanks as always, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 24, 2013:

Hi Vellur, I didn't realise what the name was either before, but its fascinating isn't it? thanks, nell

Mary Craig from New York on June 24, 2013:

Very educational and informative Nell, but I have to admit I kept thinking I wonder what would happen if I took the Rorschach Inkblot Test, would I be allowed to leave or would they put me in a straight jacket right then and there ;)

I love the ballet tree, how cool!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 24, 2013:

Great hub, I always see shapes in clouds. It is the way we see things and how we see it. A fascinating read. I knew about this though I did not know the specific terms used. Enlightened. Great hub, voted up.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 23, 2013:

Hi Alastar, great to see you! yes the Jesus in the toast is definitely something else isn't it? lol! But I do know what you mean, I have seen some things too, and they can't be explained by Pareidolia. The world is a strange place, and sometimes things occur that are definitely not easy to explain. I am fine thanks, hope you are too?

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on June 23, 2013:

This is a good article on Pareidolia, Nell. You also found some good examples with the pics. Pinterest has some good ones on occasion. The religious figures can be the most amazing. Why in the name of heaven would Jesus appear on a piece of toast? Maybe it's a Catholic thing with the host and all. Anyway, when one is right up close to certain phenomena suddenly happening there can be no doubt the experience is anything but something like pareidolia, trust me on that one. That was interesting with the EVP too, hadn't "heard" of them before - an aural pareidolia takes the subject into different territory doesn't it. Up n pings Nell, hope your doing extra well these days my friend.:)

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 23, 2013:

Hi Deb, yes the mind is a strange thing and can be manipulated in all sorts of ways, the multiple personality being one of them, that in itself is very bizarre, but understandable, thanks as always, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 23, 2013:

Hi dreamseeker, lol! yes its funny isn't it? especially when a tree is involved, the faces that appear on the side sometimes make me think! thanks for reading, nell

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 23, 2013:

Pretty amazing how the mind works. It will also protect us from harm. For example, a child that is beaten and/or tortured by a parent, may turn into a distinct "multiple" personality, if he/she survives the treatment.

dreamseeker2 on June 23, 2013:

Cool hub! I loved it and found it useful, not knowing this event had a name. : ) I have always seen something in an object other than what it was. Perhaps it is due to my wild imagination? I can't help but see other things in things...sometimes, it really bugs me! Fascinating subject...well, at least for someone like me. lol!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 23, 2013:

Thanks mary, I always thought it was called simulacra, but had to look twice to see that it wasn't lol! many magazines use that word, but the real one is the above, thanks so much for reading, nell

Mary Hyatt from Florida on June 23, 2013:

I love to watch the clouds and "see"images in them. I never knew there was a name for this, though.

Voted UP, etc.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 22, 2013:

Hi Anna, thanks so much, and I am glad you liked it, nell

Anna Haven from Scotland on June 22, 2013:

Hi Nell

You always write really interesting hubs. I had seen the cloud shapes before but I didn't know what the name for it was.

Great hub!


Nell Rose (author) from England on June 22, 2013:

Thanks creative, it does doesn't it? glad you liked it, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 22, 2013:

Hi Kathryn, I think our minds make up pictures even when we are tiny kids, I ended up in my mums room for at least a year because I also saw people watching me! spooky eh? lol! thanks!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 22, 2013:

Hi drbj, Roger sounds a fascinating person, its amazing how we can see objects in anyway we wish too, thanks as always, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 22, 2013:

Hi Jeannie, yes I am sure some of the ghost ones are really this instead, and I totally understand what you mean about a face in the door, me too when I was a kid! lol!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 22, 2013:

Hi Levertis, lol! yes I totally understand what you mean! There are a couple of trees in the park near me, and they always seem to be stretching towards each other, and in the summer they are intertwined! Ahhh! lol! thanks for reading, nell

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on June 21, 2013:

I once saw a picture of two trees that had connected perfectly to their outstretched limbs. Right when they connected a single twig began to grow. It was their baby!

This hub is very interesting.

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on June 21, 2013:

I used to see a face in my parents' wood door in the bathroom. It looked like it was shrieking. I was the only one who ever really seemed to notice that. Thankfully, my mother painted over it a few years ago, but still, the mind creates an image in lots of things. I think that is true for many "ghost sightings" although I would like to believe some are real. :-) Cool hub and voted up!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 21, 2013:

Pareidolia is a fascinating phenomenon and you have done the subject proud, Nell. I wrote a hub about Roger Price and his comic Droodles which are based on patterns and pictures we create from commonplace objects. Your photos are amazing, too, m'dear.

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on June 21, 2013:

This is a very fascinating article. I had never known what the phenomena is called, but I have always enjoyed seeking out patterns and pictures in objects. I have never thought they had any particular significance, though, it was just interesting.

I do remember that when I was a kid, my imagination used to run away from me at night. I would look around the dark room, and "see" eyes all around me, and it creeped me out. I knew it wasn't real, that they were just a product of my imagination, but it still scared me a little.

Carrie L Cronkite from Maine on June 21, 2013:

Truly interesting hub, really makes you wonder!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi Ruby, that picture sounds fascinating, I would love to see it. I especially like looking at clouds too, they fascinate me with their different shapes, I actually sit in my front room watching them and seeing what shape I can make out, thanks so much, and have a great weekend!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 21, 2013:

This is right down my alley, there's nothing i like better than looking into clouds and seeing really remarkable objects. I watched all the videos, they are amazing. I have a picture that i bought at an auction that has several shapes and forms that change while looking at them. It's amazing. When i have visitors we see who can see the most forms, many times they see something i had never seen before. Great topic Nell..Loved it...

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi Pamela, thanks so much for reading, yes its fascinating isn't it? thanks, nell

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 21, 2013:

This is a very interesting hub as to the what we see in the clouds. I never knew much of this information, which made the hub very interesting and some food for thought as well. Very good and interesting.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi Zubair, thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi truth, yes that's so true, thanks!

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi moonlake, wow! that sounds interesting, thanks for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

HI billy, lol! thanks as always, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Thanks Barbara, glad you liked it, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi Faith, thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi Alex, lol! yes I know what you mean! I actually was going to paint a picture once of a native american I saw on my ceiling! lol! the combination of shadows and the paint really made it look like that! thanks as always, and have a great weekend, oh and thanks for the laugh the other night, it was hysterical! lol!

SilverGenes on June 21, 2013:

Fascinating, Nell! I enjoyed this very much - I'm one who is always seeing things in ordinary objects but had no idea it had a name. It does make the world more interesting and often a lot funnier :)

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi MsDora, that sounds lovely, and thank you so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi Alicia, I am like that too, I even try to see it from different angles to try and convince myself that its not what it seems! lol! thanks so much, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi tobusiness, thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi Sue, glad you liked it, and thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi ID. lol! yes I know what you mean! especially at night walking past a tree that's swaying, spooky! thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi Peg, I actually think some may be genuine, they seem to be too expert to just be random anomalies. Leonardo was a wise man, I know what he means, sometimes I look out of the window and 'see' a shape, purely a cloud or tree, and see something else, and wish I could paint it! thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi Seeker, you are probably right there, I do believe people have a need to 'prove' that religion is there, as we all have a faith of some sort, to see something just makes it feel special, as for EVP I tend to think its wishful thinking, but of course there is always the other explanation too, picking up radio signals! thanks so much for reading, nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 21, 2013:

Hi Gordon, thanks so much, yes it's a fascinating thing isn't it? so many people see these things, but won't be convinced that its purely psychological, thanks again, nell

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on June 21, 2013:

Well, Nell, like so many other people, I have experienced this phenomena hundreds if not thousands of times but couldn't even have guessed as to what it's called. Thanks for the fascinating insight! It's often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but as you have very effectively demonstrated, so is so much else...

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on June 21, 2013:

Hi Nell, this was a really fascinating article on pareidolia.

I often wonder with some people, when they see the face of 'Jesus in toast' or in the clouds and truly believe it is a holy image/sign, if this is an expression of an emotional and/or psychological need from inside them? Many of course would call these folks dumb or gullible, but I think these can be cruel tags at times, especially when it's obvious that there is something missing in these people's lives.

The EVP's and pareidolia is interesting. I have heard some excellent examples of EVP and the answer did seem to be in response to a direct question from investigators. However, I do definitely believe that if you are trying to capture EVP's at random, then yes, people will start to hear what the want to hear from the white noise background.

Great hub + voted up!!

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