Pareidolia, Do Ya, Don’t Ya?

This is a post by guest blogger Ellen Bulger

Photograph: Quasi Cryptic © Ellen Bulger, all rights reserved

People see all kinds of things in the random patterns of clouds, wood grain, inkblots and even in the carbonization of food. The browning of buttery bread, tortillas or cheese releases delicious flavors, not messages from on high. It is one thing to see a bunny in a fluffy cloud. When you are seeing a deity in a mold stain on drywall, you really need to ask yourself some hard questions. Why would a deity want to be represented in mildew or even Velveeta? And should you cut back on your drinking?

While people often see things that do not exist, the flip side is we often don’t recognize things that are in full view. So I offer this photograph. Can you see what is really here? And if so, how long did it take you?

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Pareidolia, Do Ya, Don’t Ya?
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128 thoughts on “Pareidolia, Do Ya, Don’t Ya?

  1. 4

    Some sort of cord, perhaps rubber or plastic – I see a bit of a rose stamped on the upper rectangle – suspended in a liquid or gel with green on top, including bubbles and flecks of dead animal or plant parts. The somewhat streaky nature of the bubbles hints that it’s solid, not liquid, and I feel like the bubbles are also placing some limits on scale.

    I think there might be a bee near the rose. That or knitting needles or TV antenna.

    Zooming in a bit, what I thought was mucky water seems more solid, almost fruit-like. Perhaps jello separated by a rubber divider with algae on top? sprouts? and someone changed a light with a shade full of insects right over it.

    The picture was well-lit, and there’s a circular shadow. I’m guessing outside, rim of a bowl.

    I keep coming back to thinking kiwi fruit, because of the seeds, but I think the scale and pattern are far off for that.

  2. 5

    You know how sometimes you want to use a word, but that word dances just out of reach of your tongue (there’s a word for this, but I can’t think what it is)? Yeah…(sigh) I’m not even that close to knowing what this is. Best I can tell, it’s an end-on, cross-sectional view of something sliced where there appears to be a circular shadow. I give. What is it?

  3. 9

    Nope. Looked for 5 minutes and could not determine either a real value (garbage floating in a pond?) nor a pareidolian value… (not Jesus or the devil or two dogs humping, or any such thing). Maybe I’m too literal?

  4. 11

    Too cryptic for me, by far! I give. What is it?

    I’m getting no pareidolia out of it whatsoever.

    What I do see: A white thing and a pink thing (perhaps two ends of the same thing?) floating amidst pond scum. Possibly duckweed, but I think perhaps not. My estimate of scale: White/Pink things perhaps 1.5cm wide, 3 or 4 cm long before they narrow down into a sort of cord or hose.

  5. 14

    inside of a slurpy/juice machine/dispenser type thing?

    It looks like the protruding plastic are some sort of mixing type things, circular in shape, with a few protrusions.

    The patterns in the bubbles seem to look like it was recently mixed/churned/whatever.

    and the circular light area- makes it look like peering down into a vat from a circular opening.

    not sure what images I’m supposed to imagine is there though

    1. 19.1

      Gah, I don’t know how I missed Ciaphas’ post…

      yeah, now that I read that, I completely see it, I had been wondering about that dark spot in the lower left, which now I believe is the opening to one of the watering cans.

      Good call Ciaphas.

      (and I also realize that I have previously revealed to the world that despite ingesting a fair amount of them, I have no clue what an edible slurpy is supposed to look like…)

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