Rock of Ages

By Phil Plait | January 16, 2008 8:58 am

Obvious title, I know.

Guy sees slab of granite, guys sees Jesus, guy will sell it on eBay.

I see article, I look at picture, I see Satan, I make it obvious.

Why is it people see the subtle and miss the obvious? Satan was the first thing I saw… and the folks at Fark, where I saw this originally, agree.

What do you see?


Comments (102)

Links to this Post

  1. franKnarf’s bloGolb » Blog Archive » Rock of Ages | January 16, 2008
  1. Peter

    It’s clearly a readaptation of a Georgia O’Keefe know, the one featuring a bull’s skull……..yikes

  2. Cello Man

    Looks like an alien “Grey” to me, peeping over a ledge Kilroy-style. The bluish blobs at top and bottom form the eyes and hands, respectively.

  3. Saturn8

    I saw Jesus. But then again, I was looking for him because it was suggested that he was there. I still don’t really see satan. Maybe that means I’m a saint or something? Hooray!

  4. yd

    I saw, in quick succession, satan, jesus, and a phallus with two large blue balls… :-/

  5. Dan

    I see Abe Vigoda.

    I always see Abe Vigoda.

    I’m a cursed man…

  6. Satan, Jesus…same thing.

  7. A Hermit

    I saw cow skull at first…

    But now its Abe Vigoda for sure. DAMN YOU DAN!!!!

  8. Cory Meyer

    Actually, my first thought was the greek god Atlas holding up the globe.

  9. Gary

    I see somebody with way too much obsession with this topic. Make it a hobby if you must. Or collect the images in a scrapbook. Please, Phil, give it a break!

    Or we’ll all start seeing Abe Vigoda. Gaaaaah.

  10. Mike

    It looks like the face of the alien from Independance Day.

  11. Do you mean this Abe Vigoda, or this one, or this one?

    Then there’s the original. Scroll to the bottom.

  12. Michelle

    I see an evil skeletal mummy on fire wanting to suck on my soul.

  13. zeb

    I see satan, or some sort of demon. The bulbous head near the top seems to have a very sinister grin on it.

  14. DrFlimmer

    First it looked like the rabbit of Donnie Darko to me. But now I think it’s an Orc.

  15. RawheaD

    They’re wrong! And you’re wrong, too!

    It’s CLEARLY the captured alien.

  16. Rav Winston

    It looks like a steer, or an auroch, or a water buffalo.

  17. Christian X Burnham

    Does anyone know where I can get a conscience-ectomy so that I too can make money selling relics on E-Bay? I’d also like to sell holy-water to the terminally ill and bring false hope to the relatives of the recently deceased by pretending to be in contact with the dead.

    (I heard that many psychopaths have damage to fairly specific areas in their frontal lobes, which robs them of a conscience. Thus, it shouldn’t be too much trouble for a skilled brain surgeon to remove my conscience with a few carefully chosen incisions.)

  18. Manni

    I see some bad photoshopping going on.

    Notice the (virtual) vertical line down the middle of the image? It’s pretty obvious in the upper part, but it goes all the way from top to bottom.

  19. M

    I agree with the alien contingent. I still do not see Jesus (at least not in that slab of granite).

  20. Quite frankly, I’m getting really ticked off that you people keep seeing my images–and my mom’s–in such random objects as waffles, slabs of granite, toast, rust stains, turds, and whatever the hell else (don’t tell my dad I used the word “hell;” he’ll ground me for cursing). Most of these so-called images don’t look even remotely human. Just how ugly do you think I am?
    Mark my words: I’m taking names. When The Rapture comes, all you people who have thus insulted me and mom are going to be left behind to fend for yourselves…. Along with that Mike Huckabee guy.
    That dude scares even me.

  21. KaiYves

    Actually, in that one I don’t see anything.

  22. Al

    A wasp’s head.

  23. J. D. Burton

    I think the blue rocks just by satan’s chin kind of look like he’s giving you the double middle-finger.

  24. DGKnipfer

    Bull Skull. I must be blessed because I still can’t see Abe Vigoda in it. Oh wait… DAMMIT!!!

  25. I see two slabs of granite that mirror each other – i.e., they were cut and glued together to look like that. (The seam is pretty obvious.)

    Somehow, that doesn’t seem very miraculous to me.

    Oh, and I also see some really pretty blue-gray quartz. Bull, shmull.

  26. Christian X Burnham

    I found a birthmark shaped like a piece of toast on my Jesus.

  27. Lledowyn

    I actually saw an “alien grey” when I first saw the picture. I guess I’ve been abducted once or twice, and the memories are coming back to me…. ūüėČ

  28. Brown
  29. I think that’s a real line in the image. Stone tile is often laid out like pages of a book, e.g. the stone is sliced and the slices are opened like a book and set that way…there’s a name for the technique…but my google-fu is weak.

    It’s done that way specifically because the natural patterns in the stone are “amplified” and look more interesting.

    In this case it’s like a stone ink-blot – by creating symmetry it automatically implies some kind of image.

  30. I see either a devil with really long horns, or an auroch. Holding up two blue hands/hooves/whatever.

  31. Janine

    Gunter! Glieben! Glauchen! Globen!

  32. gopher65

    Cory Meyer you’re right! It is totally Atlas holding up the Earth on his shoulders! Or, possibly, a ram skull.

  33. RobertB

    It looks like an anatomical drawing of the female reproductive system from a textbook.

  34. Jeff

    You’re all blind ūüėČ

    It’s clearly a Vexirk in attack mode from Dungeon Master

  35. Becca Stareyes

    I see either:

    1. A silhouette of a person with raised hands. Which, I suppose, if I was more culturally immersed in Christianity, would be Jesus. I also see two people facing him in the foreground.

    2. The University of Texas at Austin’s mascot (the Longhorn). Looking rather evil.

  36. Randall

    I’m going to be honest, I see the guy with his arms outstretched more than I see the devil-face. But it doesn’t look like crucifiction to me. It looks like a guy bowing down. What’s that say about religion?

  37. Tim

    The technique is called butterflying – woodworkers use it too for nicely grained wood.

  38. RAM

    or as Oblio was told by “the Rock Man” in the pointless forest
    “you see what you wanna see & you hear what you wanna here. dig?”

  39. Laurel

    No one else sees a uterus?

  40. Mark Martin

    You’re all wrong. It’s Conan, hanging on the Tree of Woe.

    That, or Mr. McGregor chasing Peter Rabbit out of his carrots!

  41. Darth Curt

    Yeah… When I saw it, it was either a Grey or some sort of insect. I was thinking grasshopper, but I’ll go with Al and say Wasp Head. I don’t see “human figure” anywhere at all in there.

  42. Doc

    I see London … I see France ….

  43. Eric

    Yes Laurel, the first thing I saw was a Uterus.

    So it’s obviously the Virgin Mary…

  44. Jasini

    The first thing I saw was an alien.

  45. I saw Jesus on the cross. In fact, the arms-up, head down pose made it look pretty close to his pose in Dali’s “Corpus Hypercubus.” I didn’t see the devil face at all.

  46. Murff

    I see Granite…

  47. jeff

    turn it upside down. It’s the lunar module landing on the moon.

  48. Ian

    I immediately saw Jesus on the cross. Actually, this one seems pretty remarkable to me. The symmetry is quite good, although the right arm looks very muscular whereas the left arm does not. Also, the lower torso lacks any definition whatsoever. The other cool thing about this is that the white spots to the left and right look like they could be the criminals with whom Jesus was crucified (but if so, then their arms are missing).

    I don’t really see Satan at all, but when I look at just the central white part of the image, I see a pretty wicked skull.

  49. JFK

    A chupacabra!!!!

  50. Law Mom

    That’s one angry donkey.

  51. Mark Martin

    If people are seeing female reproductive organs, then perhaps it’s the movie poster for The Core.

  52. I saw a still from the scen in the movie Independence Day, when they perform the alien autospy at Area 51.

  53. Terri Cherri

    At first, I saw a caduceus. Then, I saw some human-like form, with two others off to the right and left, and then it hit me: it’s obviously Tony Orlando and Dawn.

    But, unless Jesus was hit by the Cloverfield bug, or felt a little bloated, I don’t see him.

  54. jmrunning3

    I see the Fear Factory album cover for “Transgression”

  55. ioresult

    I see the autobot logo.

  56. What really bugs me about these “images” is this… if Jesus/Satan/Mary/FSM/IPU/Vorpal Bunny/Whatever is so damned powerful, why can’t it manifest itself in a suitably awesome way? Why would it choose to reveal itself in half-baked, vague, shapes-that-could-be-anything sorts of ways? No Christian I have ever asked this question of has been able to come up with an answer that strays far from “God works in mysterious ways”.

    You’d think Jesus would reveal himself at, say, a Middle-East peace conference… whammo, in a big flash of light He’d come in and start smiting and handing out diseases to the dreadful sinners and stuff.

    Nope, instead, He shows up as an image on a dog’s rear end.

  57. clheiny

    At first it looked like a cow skull, but then I saw the guy from Munch’s “The Scream” running with his hair on fire.

    No, wait, wait, it looks like that dude on the motorcycle from that awful Nicholas Cage movie “Ghost Rider”.

    Oh wait, maybe it’s something from (I won’t go into more detail, this being a family blog ‘n all that).

    Now there’s two blue guys. The one on the left is a backpacker taking a leak on a tree, while the one in the right is reaching up into the tree for something. Or maybe nailing up a “Do Not Pee On The Trees” sign.

  58. Phil

    I see a happy soccer fan.

  59. Quiet_Desperation

    I see a vagina.

    I’m not being crude! That’s what I see, dammit!

  60. nancy

    Looks like something I saw at the last Tool concert.

  61. kid cool

    Being a Texan the first thing I saw was a Longhorn image (see Univ of Texas). I am sure there are some Aggies out there who will agree the a longhorn symbol is the same thing as Satan.

  62. Sean

    I saw the shape they thought was Jesus, but it looks more like Atlas holding up the world to me. OMG! The ancients were right!

  63. katy lavallee

    i see Frank the rabbit.

  64. I see a demon with horns. Either that or a grinning, crucified, skeletal cadaver. Some Jesus that is.

  65. I see a demon with horns. Either that or a grinning, crucified, skeletal cadaver.

  66. Celia Reaves

    Looks to me like a member of Species 8472!

  67. dre

    definitely ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, the whole nine yards.

  68. Zeke

    I see the cow skull also.

  69. Bob the Owl

    I definitely see a Cyber Demon’s head. …or maybe I’ve been playing too much Doom lately.

  70. Radwaste

    Ya wanna smack this guy around, and ask him where he got the idea Jesus looked like this? Nobody babbling about this has MET Jesus, OR found an actual portrait of him.

  71. MandyDax

    Well, I see a lot of things in that: Abe Vigoda, Jesus, Atlas, Longhorn, Grey, Demon, a cat rubbing up against something, female reproductive organs, etc.

    If anyone wants to see a real, amazing image of Mary holding and grieving over the body of her dead son, take a look here. It’s amazing, and I can’t find Abe Vigoda in it at all! Some guy named Michelangelo found it in a piece of marble like 500 years ago. AMAZING, I SAY!

  72. BJN

    I see a frick’n bookmatched slab of granite as Michael Barrett said above. The only reason there’s anything interesting to tune your psyche into is the symmetry that comes from cutting and flipping the stone slab.

    This isn’t even interesting pareidolia since the symmetry is manmade, unless you think *half* a Jesus is something you’re recognize. I’m sure this bookmatched image bears no resemblance to the real pattern the stone was cut from.

  73. SK

    I am going to vote for uterus, fallopian tubes and assorted female plumbing as well.

  74. Aeryn

    A grinning bull about to stamp on me. Or a small demon creature with long horns.

  75. Brian Fane

    Others have said it looks like someone with their arms up. I agree, but my first thought was Nixon.

    “I am not a pareidolia!”

  76. I just see a swimmer doing the butterfly stroke. Is that weird?

  77. Wildride

    Thou shalt not pass!

    There’s a certain balroginess to it, although the bull’s skull is the most prominent feature. Perhaps a balrog, smoking a cigar who is raising his arms because he’s being mugged — Possibly by a gun toting Jesus.

  78. aReddishGreen

    I instantly saw the dog-demon (Vinz Clortho?) that Rick Moranis’ character turned into in the first Ghost Buster’s movie.

  79. Just Al

    Despite the horrible pun (or perhaps because of it), I see Rocky. Even the gloves.

    Now I’m going to have that damn theme going through my head all night…

  80. Space Cadet

    I haven’t read all eighty-whatever comments, but, with a slight tip o’ the hat to pz, I see ovaries, tubes, and a uterus. Where’s Arthur C. Clarke when we need him?

  81. Kaptain K

    It’s a Grateful Dead album cover! (Steal Your Face)

  82. Wow, I instantly saw an alien giving us a double middle finger salute.

  83. Gavin Flower

    RobertB beat me to it, it looked to me like a very good rendition of a woman’s womb & ovaries – complete with connecting fallopian tubes.

    Possibly it describes Mary’s?


  84. momma's boy

    it looks like…quick, check it out before I have to flush it down!

  85. first thing i saw …. same thing i *always* see in Rorschachs. Eh….

  86. The goggles they do nothing! I can’t see anything but a rock.

  87. i see saw 2 XD… that scene with the girl …

  88. Monty

    It does look like a balrog, but the first thing that popped into my noggin was of the Grateful Dead skull giving me the finger.

  89. sirjonsnow

    Saren, from Mass Effect

  90. Abe Vigoda

    I see Gretchen Honeycut. She always had fabulous gams.

  91. R A VARGA

    Christos with a couple of buds just hanging out…

  92. R A VARGA

    How about buying it & selling pieces of it to the faithful, Christians or Satanists.

  93. Svlad Cjelli

    Some freaky manikin. Chucky-style. Hanging by the arms.

  94. sean d

    it looks like a rock sorry that’s it
    a pretty rock there that’s better

  95. Joe

    Unfortunately your all wrong, this isn’t one single piece of stone, it is 2 slabs of granite bookmatched, end to end. Look closely. You will see the seam.

    Also, this is a closer up view of the slab, if you back up the image of the slab to it’s original size you would see an image of a skull.

  96. thelma

    I saw the satan image, but i can also see a man in pain like a sacrifice…
    I like this kind of things, and i have a fertil mind so it’s easy for me to find shapes in this things!

  97. Jesus Christ and Baphomet…

  98. blabla

    i see bat..bat’s bone


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