A pair of eidolias

By Phil Plait | April 1, 2009 10:15 am

I have two faces for you today:

Andre the giant Mother Teresa

The one on the left is clearly Andre the Giant (which is funny, as the email about it came the day after watching "The Princess Bride". Inconceivable!), and on the right is Mother Teresa, who apparently had work done when this portrait was made. Unless it’s Alfred E. Newman. Hard to say.

Both appear to me to be, as usual, random patterns that look like faces and, also as usual, once you see the face you can’t not see it. Our brains are funny.

Tip o’ the oil stain to Sam Lehman and Elwood Herring, respectively, for sending those to me!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Humor, Pareidolia

Comments (55)

  1. Ethanol

    “it came the day after watching “The Princess Bride””

    Weird! me too! Then again, I watch the princess bride every other day, so I guess it’s not all that strange.

  2. BeinSilly

    Oh I just can’t face this … ūüėČ

  3. Mortal Kombat

    The one on the left is either Skorpion or Sub-zero from the Mortal Kombat video /computer game.

    Probably Skorpion coz its yellow (~ish) but maybe not quite flame-breathing skull enough .. ūüėČ

    Or just maybe Jason from the horror movies.

    What do these have to be religulous or something??

  4. Sean

    You probably should have been watching Tron instead. The first one is clearly the Master Control Program.

    End of line

  5. Trebuchet

    Somehow when looking at “Andre”, what I see instead is Bart Simpson!

  6. Jim

    The one on the left looks more like a Predator to me. Mandible-y! ūüėõ

  7. mapnut

    I haven’t seen it.
    Anybody want a peanut?

  8. Yeah, I agree with Sean. The one on the left is the MCP.

  9. Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against Phil Plait when pareidolia is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha…

  10. Geomaniac

    The one on the left also looks like the Face of Boe from Dr. Who.

  11. Adrian Lopez

    I can’t see a face in the one that’s supposed to look like Andre the Giant. All I see is a kind of Gingerbread Man cookie shape. As for the one on the right, it looks more like the face of a smiling mummy than Mother Teresa.

  12. gravitybear

    Must also side with Sean, the one on the left is definitely the MCP or at least it does now that he suggested it.

  13. gravitybear

    grr… should be “…definitely looks like…”

  14. Sorry, no Andre the Giant for me. I see Mucha Lucha.

  15. Jack Mitcham

    I can’t see anything in the left one. The one on the right looks like it may be the product of a photoshop.

  16. I’ll second Geomaniac. The first thing I thought was the Face of Boe. But I would settle for the MCP (pre data disc insertion). As far as the second image, I keep seeing former Illionois governor Rob Blagojevich.

  17. MB

    I’m not seeing Andre…

  18. Mandarb

    The one on the left looks like a leapord to me…

  19. I’m with Jack Mitcham in thinking that the one on the right is just a wee bit too clean and looks photoshopped.

    Having said that, though, you’re all wrong about who it is. Click my name. It’s clearly the guy in the red hat and purple sweater just to the right of the (rather obvious) center.

  20. rob

    i agree with Jim, i thought the one on the left looks like the predator near the end of the movie when it takes off it’s helmet.

  21. Itzac

    The one on the left makes me think of Liono, actually. Or maybe Subzero/etc… from Mortal Kombat.

  22. Eddie Janssen

    The one on the right looks like one of the 7 dwarfs. The other one looks like nothing, really.

  23. OMG, you guys, this is spooky!
    I found a case of pareidolia on the very Bad Astronomy blog!

    seriously. on the top right-hand corner of the Bad Astronomy blog website, right bellow the advertisement to the right of “About Bad Astronomy,” I swear I see a mans face! if you look carefully, right in front of the rocket in the picture. do you see it? he looks like he’s sort of smiling, and he’s wearing a hat of sorts and glasses. can you see it?

    pretty cool, huh.

  24. Richard

    Hmm, for the one on the right I was thinking of the Sam Lowry’s mother in the movie Brazil. You know, the plastic wrap scene.

    That’s my take, anyway.

  25. Paul Claessen

    How can anyone NOT see this?

    The guy on the right is CLEARLY PZ Myers!!

  26. On the right I kind of see a Spanish Knight with visor, maybe wearing a ball cap underneath that.

  27. Dan I.

    On the left I see “D’oh” from the Arkanoid games.

    On the right I see Joe Mushasha from the “shinobi” video game series.

  28. Aeryn

    I see no face at all on the left, but the right immediately struck me as a fat French mime from, say, the 30s, with a jaunty baret and a curly mustache.

    Or Alfred E Newman.

  29. Cafeeine

    The one on the left seemed to me just like a guy in a ski mask. I had to struggle to see Andre the Giant (and I was thinking about him yesterday)

    The one on the right reminded me of a …televangelist. (Come on, the hair, the smarmy grin…)

  30. Lazze

    The left one is clearly Chewbaka

  31. I think Rogue Medic wins this thread!

    Yeah, the Andre the Giant one was posted on the JREF forums a while back.

  32. I see the faces but I don’t recognize them. Then again it seems I have prosopagnosia so I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise.

  33. The one on the left is either the Master Control Program from Tron (as noted above) or Nagilum from Star Trek the Next Generation’s “Where Silence Has Lease.” The one on the right looks like the Mad Thinker.

  34. Jack Mitcham: Absolutely no photoshopping – I can vouch for that. The photo (on the right) was taken in 2006 and I didn’t notice the “face” until a couple of weeks ago. It’s actually a reflection of some trees at the bottom of my garden. As soon as I noticed it I thought I’d send it to Phil, knowing his pareidolia predilection!

  35. I had one of these happen to me. We were being told ghost stories by a campfire during a wedding weekend. I, being an amateur photography geek, decided that the fire made for a good photo subject. I snapped a few (dozen) photos. The next day, I showed them to my friend (the groom). We immediately saw a face in the flames. The photo is up on my blog: http://www.techydad.com/?p=115

    I definitely don’t believe that it was a ghost or anything like that… I just like the coincidence of photographing a “ghost face” in the flames while being told ghost stories. ūüėČ

  36. Michelle

    The one in the window made my heart jump. It’s CREEPY.
    And not in a holy way.

  37. Bobcloclimar

    I see Spawn on the left. Or Scorpion/Sub-Zero/Reptile/Smoke/Ermac/Rain/Noob Saibot.

  38. Sam

    If you check out the original blog post I made, I have a comparison between andre the giant and the door.

  39. firemancarl

    The one in the window looks a bit like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes.


    The image on the right is OBVIOUSLY Jerri Blank of Strangers with Candy:

    I always suspected Amy Sedaris was DIVINE.

  41. Sili

    Alfred E. Newman

    What has been seen, cannot be unseen!

  42. Bill

    The one on the right is clearly Darkman.

  43. Ryan

    I’m going to go with Boe and Jerri as the two. i wonder what messages these fictional characters are trying to tell us by revealing themselves? is it a coincidence that this is during the G20?

  44. QUASAR

    You’re seeing faces everywhere!

  45. wfr

    In the middle of Andre the Giant’s face I see the guy on the bridge in Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” I think I’m suffering from the rare but dreaded “embedded pareidolia.”

  46. Mena

    I’m getting a Sidoh from Death Note vibe from the one on the right. The one on the left almost seems feline.

  47. Chuck Anziulewicz: I think you’ve nailed it (great picture!) – but what’s she doing in my kitchen?

  48. MadScientist

    That’s definitely Alfred E. Newman with a hanky on his head.

  49. George Kopeliadis

    It’s Almbert Einstein … for sure!

  50. Paolo

    OK, slightly OT, but totally funny (and BA-related)!! This is yesterday’s Get Fuzzy strip comic


    I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

  51. MadScientist
  52. jen

    I see a cow face on the left, and a mummy on the right.

  53. MPG

    49 responses and not a “What, me worry”? Tsk, tsk.

  54. AndymanEC

    The one on the right is totally the giant hovering/spinning-face bad guy from Tron, minus all the glowey colors.

  55. Victor Bogado da Silva Lins

    I see not one, but two faces on the first one. They are profile and starring each other, since they are both very similar I could guess that they are the same sex, so this must mean that god approves homosexualism. :-)


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