Do you spot faces in weird places?

Can you spot them in these electrical sockets?

How about in this seat?

In a wall?

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On a tree?

Word of the week #pareidolia

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In these cucumber slices?

If you could pick out faces in these objects then you must face the fact that you have pareidolia. You must go to the doctor immediately.

Just kidding.

Facial pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon where your brain perceives faces in inanimate objects and other things. It is most commonly noted when you can pick out shapes in the clouds.

You respond to the object in a similar way to how you perceive an actual face, activating the same areas of the brain.

Surprisingly, this ability to perceive faces when there are none actually has an evolutionary purpose. It is hypothesized that people who were quick to identify faces and facial expressions were therefore quicker to make decisions regarding whether the people were friendly or not... Leading to higher rates of survival for those who could quickly process faces.

From this slow process of natural selection, over many thousands of years, our subconscious ability to read facial expressions has now become even more highly developed, leading us to be able to interpret the emotions of inanimate objects.

Or maybe too highly develolped?

So remember if you see a hostile face in a rock face then let your fight or flee instincts take over.

If you couldn't pick out the faces in the above pictures do not worry. Ignorance is bliss.

And at the moment your ability, or lack thereof, to see faces in weird places should not affect your survival.