Friday, November 11, 2011

You can see a face...

I by no means wish to belittle this man's pain.  I have had personal experience with pain "down there" and the only thing that could make it funny to someone is the location.  That said, here's what happened to a hapless man in Canada.
A 45 year-old man was experiencing great pain due to tumor masses on his testicle.  Doctors did an ultrasound and came up with this image:

Now I will admit, the image does look like a man screaming in pain and ultimately I have no evidence to the contrary.

My problem with it is that we keep seeing these things.  Not faces in ultrasound images of 'nads, but in all kinds of other objects.  People claim that certain rocks look like faces or that they saw a religious image in a cloud formation.  One of the more recent examples of this is a 13th Century fresco that was restored in a church in Italy.  The painting is  a depiction of the death of St. Francis.  Upon restoration, several saw this in the painted clouds:

They're calling it a "devil face."  Could be.  You could also say it's Abraham Lincoln minus the beard.  Or could be damn near anything you want it to be.  Ditto for this Photo of the Day on Coast-to-Coast AM, a crystal with the number five supposedly inside it.  The formation does bear strong resemblance to the number, but it's a random occurrence.  
We're seeing these things all the time because it is in our nature.  It's a survival mechanism.  Our minds are constantly trying to sort out the inchoate, visual white noise and locate things that we recognize, especially faces.  In an effort to do this, we may often times perceive a face when there is really none there.  It's no different then when we stare at the clouds and get creative, telling each other what we "see" in fluffy puffs of white. 

So maybe next time you think you see a religious figure in a water stain or a grilled cheese sandwich, don't get excited.  It's all probably this all-too familiar process at work.

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