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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
noun: The tendency to see a specific pattern or meaningful images in random stimulus.
From German Pareidolien, from Greek para- (along) + eidolon (image), from eidos (form, idea). Ultimately from the Indo-European root weid- (to see), which also gave us wise, view, supervise, wit, eidetic, eidos, vidimus, previse, hades, guy, invidious, and vizard. Earliest documented use: 1962.
It’s human nature to see patterns where there might be none. If you have ever seen an elephant in the clouds, you have experienced pareidolia. Pareidolia is also responsible for constellations appearing in the shape of animals (Ursa major, Leo, etc.), profiles of men appearing on rock faces, Rorschach inkblot tests, UFO sightings, and Jesus on toast. While toast appears to be his favorite, he has also appeared on tortillas, chapatis, and potato chips. But you don’t have be at the mercy of random patterns and their whims. Command pareidolia with Grilled Cheesus Sandwich Press, or, even better, have your own face appear on toast, no random numbers required. If you are a do-it-yourself type, here are instructions to have your own divinity appear on toast.
“Perhaps pareidolia explains how changing clouds inspired widespread reports of armies in the sky during the political upheavals of the 1600s.”
Paul Simons; Weather Eye; The Times (London, UK); Mar 23, 2017.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:No amount of belief makes something a fact. -James Randi, magician and skeptic (b. 7 Aug 1928)