Hail Marmite, full of grace

By Phil Plait | May 28, 2009 12:30 pm

Jesus of the marmite

Maybe it’s just me, but if I were omnipotent and omnipresent, I don’t think I’d fool around making my visage appear in a jar of yeast extract spread.

But that’s just me.

Not everyone agrees with me (as usual). For example, here is evidence that Jesus has appeared in the lid of a jar of Marmite. For those not in the know, Marmite is a toxic substance some people put on toast or bread. They claim it’s edible, but their judgment is suspect.

Besides, it’s clearly not Jesus anyway. I know who it really is:

Marmite Jesus versus Spinal Tap

People tend to see religious icons in random patterns, but when it comes to pareidolia we sometimes have to set our sights lower. Like, say, with the patron saint of quality footwear.

Hello Cleveland!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Humor, Pareidolia, Religion

Comments (53)

  1. !AstralProjectile

    He was in Columbus last Sunday. I’m a huge fan and wish I could have seen him. Im a fan of yours too, BA. Maybe I’ll give away my Jane’s Addiction tix and drive up to Kalamazoo.

  2. RL

    I’d hate to be a nit-picker, but the picture you included is Derek Smalls, not David St. Hubbins, who is named after the aforementioned saint.

    There is a strong resemblance, though. Rock and Roll!

  3. Another pigment of the hallucination of an apopheniac.

  4. You sure looked different back in college, Phil.

  5. Justin

    Phil:

    I have a link for you; how do I send it to you?

  6. me

    I saw this earlier today and thought of you, Phil.

    Marmite is delicious, by the way. Especially on salt and vinegar chip sandwiches.

  7. Matt T

    They claim it’s edible, but their judgment is suspect.
    Well apparently Jesus disagrees with you. So there.

    Yayz for Teh Holy Endorsement of Marmite!

    I guess it must be pommie Marmite, though. Yellow lid to me means Vegemite (the spread of Satan); real Marmite should have a red lid. Very confusing. Obviously I should start a religious war over this contentious issue.

    And for some link fun: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2047671.html

    @me: Marmite-n-chip sandwiches! Oh yessssss!!!

  8. No No No… it’s obviously Frank Zappa

  9. RL: I know. But it was a religious reference that was too good not to include.

  10. Martin Moran

    I think you’re right Phil, there’s no way Jesus would mess about with just a moustache!

  11. opossum

    I peeled a piece of masking tape from the tile border around my shower and the remaining glue looks eerily similar to Bob Marley, and if I look at it long enough it does resemble a certain deity.

    Now ask yourself: Why would God go out of his way to place this image eye-level with ole’ opossum while he’s taking a dump?

    My only answer is: I am now a believer….In Bob Marley! Woohoo!

  12. IVAN3MAN

    Phil Plait:

    For those not in the know, Marmite is a toxic substance some people put on toast or bread. They claim it’s edible, but their judgment is suspect.

    Some people think ABBA songs are great, but their judgement is suspect.

  13. *shrug* To me, it looks like a lizardman boxing with a kangaroo. But then, I’m a fantasy gamer interested in odd sports, so what do I know?

  14. Bäd Aströnömy — drats, wouldn’t let me do an n-diaeresis, had to settle for this.

  15. Jim Ernst

    It can’t be Derek Smalls. He only manifests as a stuffed moose!

  16. Gareth H

    It’s days like this that make me embarrassed to be Welsh…

    Mind you, that story is from South Wales. Us Gogs wouldn’t be that stoopid. Would we? :oD

  17. xerhino

    So… I should worship Ringo Star?

  18. TS

    So it was Mr. Burns all along then, even back in the year zero?

  19. Davidlpf

    Phil had hair in the past.

  20. Brian Schlosser

    @drnecropolis: Beat me to it!

  21. Sarcastro

    I thought it was Jimmy Carl Black of the Mothers of Invention…

    … both of them!

  22. Dan Woods

    Speaking of Pareidolia, check out this weeks Escape Pod Flash Fiction. Great twist at the end.

  23. First time I saw this photo, I thought it was a ‘gray’ wearing headphones and wearing a necklace (facing right, the ‘eye’ that would be on the left is the top of the headphones – big professional style, not the little ‘walkman’ or iPod type- the ‘necklace’ is what is seen as the neck… though he has a long neck for a ‘gray’)

    J/P=?

  24. Davidlpf

    I had respect for Ivan until I found out he like marmite.

  25. James

    I’m calling shenanigans. Everyone knows Marmite has a red lid.

    Besides, the reflections are all wrong.

  26. Quiet Desperation

    Marmite is a toxic substance some people put on toast or bread.

    Now that’s an LOL for me. :-) A friend made me try some years ago. I thought he had pranked me and put used motor oil on some toast. Ye gods, that stuff should be declared a controlled substance or even a WMD.

    The same friend also likes those hyper dark British beers that suck all the light out of the room. You know, the ones that appear to be brewed from expired 99.9% Cacao chocolate bars and molecular acid? Again, the motor oil analogy seems to fit. I think he’s one of those people who thinks meals should be horrifying experiences so that we may learn… … … something.

  27. This pareidolia goes to 11.

  28. IVAN3MAN

    @ Davidlpf,

    It seems that only the British and Australians/New Zealanders like Marmite/Vegemite, or the equivalent Cenovis if you’re Swiss.

    Edited to add: James, it is the New Zealand version of Marmite (with added sugar) that has a red lid; it is Bovril that has a red lid in Britain.

  29. IVAN3MAN

    Quiet Desperation:

    The same friend also likes those hyper dark British beers that suck all the light out of the room. You know, the ones that appear to be brewed from expired 99.9% Cacao chocolate bars and molecular acid?

    I think that you’re referring to Guinness, which is of Irish origin.

  30. Bill the Splut

    Look at the eyes! And the right hand being held up! It’s quite clearly the holy man RASPUTIN!
    From this exact picture!

  31. Strangely enough I have a Men at Work ditty bouncing in my head with all the Marmite/Vegemite talk

  32. Davidlpf

    You mean this little ditty.

    Travelling in a fried out combie
    On a hippie trail, head full of zombie,
    I met a strange lady, she made me nervous.
    She took me in and gave me breakfast.
    And she said,
    “Do you come from the land down under?
    Where women glow and men plunder?
    Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
    You better run, you better take cover.”
    Buying bread from a man in Brussels
    He was six foot four and full of muscles.
    I said, “Do you speak-a my language?”
    He just smiled and gave me a vegimite sandwich.
    And he said,
    “I come from the land down under
    Where beer does flow and men chunder.
    Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
    You better run, you better take cover.”
    Lying in a den in Bombay,
    With a slack jaw and nothing to say,
    I said, “Are you trying to tempt me,
    Because I come from the land of plenty?”
    And he said,
    “Do you come from the land down under
    Where women glow and men plunder?
    Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
    You better run, you better take cover.
    You come from the land down under?
    You better run, you better cover.
    Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
    You better run, you better cover.
    You hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
    You better run and take cover.
    Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
    You better run, You better take cover.”

  33. Hmm. I always thought a Marmite was a member of some religious order…or maybe a mineral…

  34. Davidlpf:

    I will get you for that… ;)

  35. KC

    Now all we need is a Vegimite Mary and a Peanut Butter Yaweh to complete the Sandwich Spread Trinity – collect all Three!

  36. @KC:
    Throw in a few Rapture Nuts, and we’ll have a party!

  37. TS

    I’m sure it’s all a publicity stunt to promote their new album, Back From The Dead, coming out next month.

    http://www.play.com/Music/CD/4-/9606824/Back-From-The-Dead/Product.html

  38. “Too much f*$#@ing perspective!”

  39. MadScientist

    I’ll vote for the toxicity of marmite. Even from the photo you can see that it is processed sewage sludge. If anyone wants to put brown stuff which is not peanut butter on their bread, I would recommend some yummy tooth-rotting coconut jam from Asia instead.

  40. madge

    Marmite is the food of the gods! How can you diss the savoury yumminess of the gleaming deepest brown salty smoothness?
    (madge runs off to make Marmite toast soldiers to have with a dippy egg)
    That my astronomical friend is heaven on a plate.

  41. Brian G

    Drnecropolis, it’s who I saw as well

  42. SionH

    Marmite has a yellow lid, Bovril has a red lid. Can we help it if you colonials get them the wrong way round? ;)

    It’s the food of the gods. If they existed. Which they don’t. Still delicious though. Extra thickly spread on some granary toast, yum. Or on some strong cheddar.

    Nothing worse than people who spread it thinly. These same people make bland chilli. Shudder.

  43. BigBob

    I won’t hear a bad word about Marmite. You know those ‘Marmite flavour’ crisps (chips) you can buy? Save your money.
    1 Get some plain crisps (chips) and
    2 spread them individually with real, yellow lid Marmite.
    3 Enjoy
    Three steps to heaven my friend.
    I also spread it on cream crackers. One by one my boys head for the kitchen to get a plate so they can share them.
    Guess what I’m having when I get home.
    Bob(Big)

  44. JB of Brisbane

    As one who lived the story, Marmite or Vegemite is an acquired taste, and starting on from an age before you can remember is necessary to acquire it.

    Besides, you Yanks always overdo it, spreading the stuff on thickly as if it’s peanut butter or Nutella or something. A little bit goes a LOOOONGGGG way. If you can’t see the butter or bread through the Marmite/Vegemite layer, it’s too thick.
    Oh, and another thing – you have to eat it immediately. Don’t give it time to get hot or soak into the bread.

  45. Naomi

    Blech! Marmite is disgusting!

    Vegemite, however, is the foodstuff of champions. Puts a rose in every cheek, doncha know. *goes to make a Vegemite sandwich*

  46. Jessica

    Vegemite is great on toast, not so much on cold bread. Something to do with the heat or the melted butter, perhaps.

    For a while I really liked peanut-butter-and-Vegemite sandwiches. Lots of peanut butter and just a thin bit of Vegemite. It’s good. Honestly.

  47. Cheyenne

    @Ivan3Man-Re: Your Men at Work-

    Funniest. Post. Ever. :)

  48. IVAN3MAN

    @ Cheyenne,

    Thanks! We may not agree on Marmite, but at least you appreciate good music. :-)

  49. Timkatt

    I’ve tried marmite once. . . I thought I was being poisoned. *shudder*

  50. opossum

    I eat Kopi Luwac straight out of the rodent’s butt.

  51. Nigel Depledge

    Quiet Desperation said:

    Now that’s an LOL for me. A friend made me try some years ago. I thought he had pranked me and put used motor oil on some toast. Ye gods, that stuff should be declared a controlled substance or even a WMD.

    The same friend also likes those hyper dark British beers that suck all the light out of the room. You know, the ones that appear to be brewed from expired 99.9% Cacao chocolate bars and molecular acid? Again, the motor oil analogy seems to fit. I think he’s one of those people who thinks meals should be horrifying experiences so that we may learn… … … something.

    Well, you have just proven yourself to have a naïve and uneducated palate.

    Marmite is the best! As are the darkest of dark ales (e.g. Theakston’s Old Peculier or Orkney Dark Island).

    QD – turn to the dark side!

  52. Nigel Depledge

    Opossum said:

    I eat Kopi Luwac straight out of the rodent’s butt.

    I thought Kopi Luwac was a coffee. Do you eat raw coffee beans?

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