The Galaxy Smiles Upon You (only in participating locations)
Pareidolia is the phenomenon of seeing something familiar in something that it is not. Examples of this are: Seeing The Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich, Jesus…almost anywhere, images in clouds, the man in the moon, etc,. My man Carl Sagan came up with the idea that we see these things because they’re hardwired into us so that, as children, we can recognize our parents and caretakers faces even though we have bad vision and don’t have the capacity to comprehend much else at such a young stage with little brain function and that ability never leaves us but it also makes us vulnerable to misinterpreting various lights and shadows as faces, so when we see pictures of Mars we immediately pull the picture of a face from some hills in the surface. It has also been argued that it is a human survival trait, to be able to recognize faces from faint distinction to trigger the fear factory and its’ instincts within ourselves and react accordingly. Personally, I’m in the Sagan camp.
Scientifically, this thing is also called Apophenia, which is a Type 1 error, a false positive, you are pulling in a type of information that isn’t there. We all do it, hell we do it a lot and sometimes we take it to a next level with extraneous reactions. These are your pilgrimages to countries to see that image of Jesus and pray to it <tangent> If Jesus wasn’t white, which he isn’t, he’s Middle Eastern if not Blacker; why would his western depicted pareidolic representations be mystical? If I start printing yellow money, no one at my grocery store will honor my wishes of purchasing anything with that money just cause I tell them that’s what a dollar looks like. No disrespect to Jesus, just his depiction. Thanks</tangent> or buying that Grilled Cheese with the Virgin Mary image on Ebay for $28,000, it has even spawned religions recently, like The Monkey Tree incident in Singapore and The Monkey God; where a callous on a tree resembles a monkey and thus it is worshiped as a god and prayed to/on as such.
The legend say that a baby monkey was looking for it’s father the Monkey God and then when a car hit it, the tree cracked and the Monkey God came out. They even have gone so far as to say that there have been 3 car accidents but none have died because the Monkey Tree has saved them, I personally think that maybe they should think about uprooting the tree so that they can build a better road to avoid all these car crashes, but hey, that’s just me.
The point of all this is because last week (first week of Dec.), all over the world, the galaxy aligned to give us astrological pareidolia. The event, called a Conjunction; when planets appear bunched with each other, happened when Venus, Jupiter and our moon, joined to form an apophenic face. Some, such as Australia and New Zealand saw a happy face, while we in the Western Hemisphere saw it inverted, a sad face. It’s a rare occurrence but cool nonetheless, and now, in a picture heavy post, I’ll leave you w/ the images of the event, mostly from Australia’s POV.
“We humans love to remake space to fit our imaginations, our hopes, our fears. Scatter some stars, and we’ll organize them into gods, animals, heroes and what have you. Give us a telescope, and we’ll spot irrigation ditches on Mars. Show us a mountain,we’ll call it a face.” -unknown (Space.com)