Stone Faces

The Minnesota Museum of the Mississippi and Other Natural Wonders has a fascinating photo essay on stone face simulacra. In Fortean terms, simulacra photos depict "spontaneous or natural figures or images. Pareidoliacs rejoice! Seen here:
 Faces Rocks Mtn Old Man of the Mountains
Franconia Notch, N.H.
The State symbol located 1200 ft. above Profile Lake. A natural profile from the cliffs of Canon Mtn., 5 layers of rocks make up the profile, 40 ft. high and 25 ft. wide.
Link (via Further)

Previously on BB:
• Fortean photography Link
• Tree with a face Link

UPDATE: It's been pointed out in the comments that the Old Man of the Mountain collapsed in 2003. How sad. Link

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  1. Didn’t I read a while ago that this stone face in New Hampshire collapsed? I remembered it when looking at the N.H. state quarter.

  2. The face collapsed on May 3, 2003.
    I had viewed it on several occasions.
    A wonderful natural formation that was a small economic boom to Franconia Notch for decades.
    The Old Man is gone but not forgotten you can see his profile on the New Hampshire State quarter.
    A thoughtful memorial.

    Now if we can just do something about Mt. Rushmore..hmmmmmmm.

    “Was that all done by erosion?” Overheard at Mt. Rushmore Visitor Center.

  3. Now if we can just do something about Mt. Rushmore.

    I believe that the Bush administration is looking for testing sites for small tactical nukes.

  4. Particularly sad given that NH invested god knows how much in merchandising the old man on all their highway signs… Would probably cost less to construct a replacement than to replace all the signs.

  5. I believe the pictured stone face in New Hampshire was a subject of a story by the unequaled Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter). He who wrote so powerfully about American culture that a public discussion of some of it, such as the haunting of the culture by Black slavery (House of the Seven Gables), only became possible in the 1960’s, 100 years after his death.

  6. In my 27.9945 years on this planet, I remember being personally effected by the loss of just two public figures in my life:
    First, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) — born and raised in the city my hometown is a bedroom community for; the first research paper I ever did was about his life and I came to feel I really knew the guy.
    Second, the Old Man in the Mountain. Some of my favorite memories from childhood, high school, college and beyond have been from trips up to the Franconia Notch area. I always made a point to go see the Man.
    Damn you, BoingBoing for dredging up these emotions :-p

  7. I’m surprised Mt.Mansfield in Vermont isn’t mentioned. Features of the mountain are given names like the nose and chin, I believe. It’s like a face lying down.

  8. Particularly sad given that NH invested god knows how much in merchandising the old man on all their highway signs… Would probably cost less to construct a replacement than to replace all the signs.

    He’s still a powerful symbol in the state, despite his fall. Why replace him with a less iconic figure?

  9. @LarryW: There was the Smuggler from Smuggler’s Notch in VT pictured on that site.

    What I found cool was there was also Sleeping Giant from somewhere in Ontario. In Hamden, CT, there’s Sleeping Giant as well. It’s basically a rock/hill formation that looks like a giant laying down with legs, arms, a head and everything.

  10. If you think you’re going to try to destroy my belief in Marsquatch, well, you’ve got another think coming.

  11. That’s why, now, all that New Hampshire has going for it is a hatred of seatbelts and three inches of novelty coastline.

    – stolen from Jon Hodgman

  12. Clearly, Roach, you’ve never been to New Hampshire in black fly season. Tourists bleeding from their ears – now that’s a claim to fame.

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