By Phil Plait | July 3, 2009 2:34 pm

The other day while at the gym, the TV was showing CNN. I couldn’t see the screen clearly, but the segment was about unusual clouds in New York… and how some people saw Michael Jackson’s face in them. At the time I thought the segment was serious, but in fact it was Jeanne Moos doing her gag schtick, as you can see on You Tube:

If you’re wondering about the actual MJ shot, here you go:

Jacko in the clouds?

That’s a screen grab from the video. I suppose it looks a bit like Jackson, though, like most examples of faces in the clouds, it looks more like Lou Ferrigno. Or maybe a zombie. Take your pick.

Mammatus clouds on Twitpic

Incidentally, the clouds in question here are called mammatus, and are actually quite common here in Colorado, and I’ve taken a lot of pictures of them, like the one shown here. I remember the first time I ever saw mammatus clouds; I was in Maryland and the remnants of a hurricane had swept through. The clouds were like little bulbs hanging down, and I had never seen anything like it before… so I’m not surprised that people freaked out a little.

But I wonder, just how many people really did think this was a sign of some sort?


Tip o’ the sequined fedora to Skeptical Teacher.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Humor, Pareidolia

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