Monday, February 10, 2014

Does a bird see the man in the moon?

Pattern from the root end of a driftwood tree, cast up on Crescent Beach:

How many faces do you see here? How many species?

Our brains do funny things. From earliest infancy, we focussed on any two spots, looking for faces. And still, if there are two remotely similar spots in a pattern like this, they immediately become incorporated into yet another "face". Any markings below them become a mouth or maybe a beak.

I wonder; some butterflies, some caterpillars, and other critters wear two conspicuous spots, which serve as camouflage, making them look like a larger animal, or maybe fooling a predator into grabbing a disposable wing rather than the head. Is this another instance of pareidolia; like us seeing Jesus in our breakfast toast or the face on Mars?

Oh, and the last I looked, I saw 17 faces in that stump. Most were not human; quite a few are not even earthly.  I'm lucky there aren't any collections of 8 spots, or I'd be seeing spider faces, too.


  1. A gorgeous piece of wood. What a story that growth pattern could tell. - Margy


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