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Pareidolia and Apophenia

In 1978 a Mexican woman found a tortilla which she thought carried the image of Jesus Christ. (Checking the photo it appears the tortilla may have been a burrito!)

Apparently thousands of visitors descended on the woman’s home to witness what many saw as a religious sign – the Lord manifesting himself in an everyday food item.

The phenomenon of seeing faces, figures or forms in random objects is known as pareidolia and often involves Jesus or the Virgin Mary appearing in everything from toast to tortillas, from tree stumps to toilet doors in Ikea.

Here are some examples:

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“But what is Apophenia?” I hear you say.

Apophenia is the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad who defined it as the “unmotivated seeing of connections” accompanied by a “specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness.”

If you think we’re straying into religious territory here then you’re right.

Alan Garcia is the president of Peru. Yesterday Garcia proclaimed that the mission that cornered and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan was nothing short of a miracle and he attributed the divine intervention to newly beatified pontiff John Paul II.

“His first miracle has been to rid the world of this incarnation of evil, this demon of hatred and criminality,” the Peruvian leader said, referring to the Al-Qaeda leader. Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday bestowed the status of “blessed” on his predecessor in front of a million people, after the Roman Catholic Church determined that John Paul had performed the necessary miracle for beatification.

Garcia said the late pontiff wasted no time in performing the second miracle needed for sainthood, making it possible for American commandos to find and kill their hated Al-Qaeda foe, whom they had hunted for the past decade.

“We hope that with his fall, that entire group that had hoped to spread terrorism throughout the world loses its importance,” Garcia said.

Just to recap, Alan Garcia is in charge of a COUNTRY.

Crikey.

Nephelococcygia!

It’s the act of seeking and finding shapes in clouds.

I took this photo out the back on Sunday night.

Is it a killer whale? or just a dolphin?

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