Good example of pareidolia


49 Responses to “Good example of pareidolia”

  1. Karen M says:

    I had to close my eyes, open them again and re-focus to see the girl in the middle.

    That does look like Rasputin.

  2. Doug Nelson says:

    I wonder if a Hindu or Buddhist would still see Jesus?

  3. Aloisius says:

    Why would Jesus be clean shaven? He was Jewish. There are parts of your beard you aren’t supposed to shave, so a lot of Jews through the ages would grow large beards just in case.

  4. Sethum says:

    I love these things!

    I found an anvil, a desk bell, a schooner, a boar, a stag beetle, and a polar bear cub.

    What else have you all found?

  5. ornith says:

    That’s one hard kid to see.

    As for face recognition, it’s so hardwired in that even newborns will stare longer at a pattern with a few lines arranged like eyes and mouth than at one with a random arrangement. Monkeys have been found to have neurons that specifically recognize the shapes of monkey heads in various orientations. (While I have no direct citations, these are both things tought to me in my college classes; I majored in Cognitive Science.)

  6. john_zorn says:


    [@ #22

    Turkish, huh? Interesting... "So, Tommy, have you ever been to a Turkish bath house?"]

    “Captain Oveur: Joey, have you ever been to a Turkish prison?”

    Sorry, pedantic but true. If you’re going to take the time, why not get it right?

  7. Sethum says:

    Here’s a cheat sheet for those who are having a hard time keeping up.

  8. technogeek says:

    Good illustration of positive vs. negative space…

  9. beekone says:

    Is it just me or are accounts like this portraying Jesus as shockingly caucasian? It looks like he used Treseme volumizing conditioner.

  10. The Unusual Suspect says:

    Wow, it took at least five seconds of concentration before I could see the baby in that first photo. And that was wile knowing what to look for.

    As for the second one, perhaps a double exposure? Yet I can clearly see a flare of refracted light between the girl’s head and the edge of the door, indicating that those two elements do belong in the same shot.

    What sayeth the Boingdom?

  11. nyar says:

    God is in the proverbial “eye of the beholder”. And it is not Treseme, Jesus go to a trendy NYC salon.

    Yes, I am going to hell for that one. w00t!

  12. Neon Tooth says:

    Funny I first saw the baby, then after reading saw “the hippie” and after that it was hard to see the baby again.

  13. Paul Coleman says:

    At first I thought that print was on a Manila envelope…you know…the kind that a Macbook Air comes in…so maybe that’s a bearded/permed Steve Jobs.

    I apologize for that train of thought.


  14. beekone says:

    oooooohhhhh, it’s a baby on his lap, that’s crazy. I was like what baby are you guys talking about. Good stuff, good stuff.

  15. Daemon says:

    It does look surprisingly like hippie-jesus. I’m still surprised at the number of christians who actually think that’s what the guy looked like. At the very least he’d almost certainly have short hair, and probably be clean-shaven.

  16. dbarak says:

    Wow, I didn’t even see the kid until I visited the other site. I think it’s a fake – I spotted some areas that look like they were retouched, some repeating patterns in the plants, etc.

  17. anthony says:

    That is one cool photo.

  18. beekone says:

    “some repeating patterns in the plants, etc.”


  19. serpent says:

    It’s not Jesus, it’s me. No really, I look like this.

  20. dbarak says:

    “Amazing face, how fake thou art…”

    I did some lightening in Photoshop, and here are some details pointed out…



    Retouching marks:

  21. cherry shiva says:

    i see a toothbrush, a horse, a hammer, and a hoax.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Based on my understanding of family photography of the time, it is also possible that “the child died short BEFORE the photo was taken”.

  23. slywy says:

    I can’t see the baby. I tried. I really did.

  24. desiredusername says:

    What rule makes all phantoms with beards automatically Jesus?

  25. doug117 says:

    Why’s everyone think that is Jesus?

    Looks a lot like my brother-in-law Jerry.

  26. Antinous says:

    When you say Jesus, do mean Rasputin?

  27. desiredusername says:

    And omg Chonosuke Okamura on the wikipedia link!

  28. dbarak says:

    @ #13

    You’re absolutely right. I’ve seen post-mortem portraits of kids and adults from the olden days.

    I think it’s Ian Anderson…

  29. devophill says:

    “#9 posted by Daemon – At the very least he’d almost certainly have short hair, and probably be clean-shaven.”

    [citation needed]

  30. kababok says:

    He has set curls, like in a wig. Looks like a regular double exposure to me…

  31. Antinous says:

    The answers to your Christ-ly Coiffure Questions lie here.

  32. dbarak says:

    @ #22

    Turkish, huh? Interesting… “So, Tommy, have you ever been to a Turkish bath house?”

  33. IWood says:

    I see a bagel.

  34. Bobdotcom says:

    Of course the child died short. Based on the adult heights in the picture, the child is definitely shorter than… ooooohhhh, you mean SHORTLY. My mistake.

  35. The Unusual Suspect says:

    I can’t see the baby. I tried. I really did.

    The baby is in the father’s lap, facing the camera, and wearing a white gown and sun bonnet.

    The baby’s face, shadowed under the brim of the bonnet, is what appears to be the eye of Jesus/Ian Anderson.

  36. palindromic says:

    This is total fakery.. but kind of good. The delineation of the hat at the top is oversmooth, indicating sprayed in or smoothed pixels. Same with the child’s mouth region, those pixels looks like typical photoshop spray distribution. Someone -kind of saw- a bearded man in the photo and decided to touch it up a bit to make it really stand out. Still, pretty neat.

    I would actually like to see the original. If you zoom in close and then zoom away and rezoom other locations, you can see that the ‘smoothness’ of several features around the child are too perfect.

    To hide the smoothing a filter has been applied to the compression that mimics smoothing of pixels. Old photographs are grainy and look like pointillist paintings when you zoom, not all smoothed out like this.

  37. Gill Avila says:

    Why is it always Jesus? Why not John the Baptist? For my money the shape looks like Rasputin.

  38. dbarak says:

    This picture might make it a bit easier to spot the baby (whose name, incidentally, was Waldo).

  39. Takuan says:

    I still prefer the girl riding the winged Assyrian lion.

  40. Cool Products says:

    Dammit, after I found Jesus, I wasn’t able to look at the picture in the normal light again. I hate when this happens.

  41. dbarak says:

    @ #29 posted by Takuan

    I still prefer the girl riding the Sybian.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Ian Anderson is our Lord and Saviour.

  43. avraamov says:


  44. Xopher says:

    I couldn’t see the baby until I read the article. It looks like the severed head of Rasputin to me.

  45. clueless in brooklyn says:

    For every person

    who thinks they just saw


    in their sandwich,

    I say, look again,


    Osama Bin Laden.

  46. Lea Hernandez says:

    @ #2 Takuan: I can’t see a girl there.

  47. JoshuaZ says:

    Pareidolia: what you call it when people see patterns and pictures that correspond to someone else’s religion.

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