Happy pareidolidays!

By Phil Plait | December 24, 2010 1:49 pm

I know some people have Christmas on their mind today, but this is a bit too literal: a brain scan taken at Newcastle University turned up a familiar face nose:

I always pictured him as somewhat bigger.

The part of the brain they were imaging? The hippocampus. Eh, close enough.

Happy holidays to all, and to all a clear night!

Tip o’ the stirring creature to BABloggee Michael Lonergan

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Humor, Pareidolia, Pretty pictures
MORE ABOUT: Christmas, Rudolph

Comments (21)

  1. Silly, a hippo is a river horse, not a brain horse.

  2. “I always pictured him as somewhat bigger. ”

    So size does matter?

  3. catbasket


    Happy wossname folks!

  4. Lol, that’s awesome. I love brain deer. Even brain deer with red noses.

    To me that is obvious and conclusive proof that we should all be worshipping Santa. Excuse me while I go and do that now.

  5. bookwench

    Well, his *antlers* are huge.

  6. Brain deer (snk), good one.

  7. Tribeca Mike

    Hippocampuses make for pretty weak dock guardians in the game Age of Mythology, though they do respawn fairly quickly.

  8. Great, just great. Keep giving the zombies reasons; they will want to have not just brains, but braaaaaaaaaaaain deeeeeeer for dinner tonight.
    Feliz solsticio de invierno! (atrasado, pero por fin se lo digo a alguien que vive donde SI es invierno)

  9. Martha

    Rudolph the anorexic reindeer……..

  10. Max

    @Fluffy: A hippopotamus is a river horse. Hippo: Horse, Potamus: River.

  11. Sharku

    @fluffy: hippopotamus is a contraction of the ancient Greek words hippo (horse) and potamos (river) which together make riverhorse, so a hippo by itself is just a horse.

    Aahhh, never would have guessed that ~20 years later my classical education’s main purpose would be to be able to be a smart Aleck on teh intartubes. :)

  12. DLC

    Everybody sing!
    0/` rudolph the red-nose paradolia, had a very tiny blob-that-might-look-like a nose!
    and if you ever saw it, you would say you’d been suggested where it goes o/`

  13. What, to my wondering eyes, should appear but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

  14. Sam H

    For the record, his head is shaped like a Dorito with a bite taken out of it. Make of that what you will.

    I only figured this out by reading the comments. Merry Christmas to y’all – now to set up the new blu-ray player and watch the 3-hour cut of Avatar with the aid of a surround sound system…

  15. DrFlimmer

    That is definite proof that

    “my sister was once bitten by a moose” (and not a llama!) ūüėÄ

  16. Gary Ansorge

    ,,,and Santa said, “Rudolph, get out of that kids head,,,and don’t poop,,,”.

    So, do people who see Mary in a pizza have a Virgin in their heads?

    Gary 7

  17. Wow, that looks just like the Norse god Nj√∂r√įr, guardian of fisherman and father of Freya.

    You don’t see that everyday.

  18. Alezmendi

    Funny, I honestly saw a spider-monkey swinging through some trees. Took me a minute to realize I was supposed to be seeing Rudolph.

  19. mike burkhart

    This reminds me of that movie Fantasic Voyage, the seen where they go thro the brain and thoughts are protryed as electric flashes. This must be the meaning of “flash of insight” and “That Idea came to me in a flash” Off topic : The new Tron movie is great, if you loved the frist you will like this one.

  20. Messier Tidy Upper

    @11. Sharku Says:

    @fluffy: hippopotamus is a contraction of the ancient Greek words hippo (horse) and potamos (river) which together make riverhorse, so a hippo by itself is just a horse.

    But, .. but .. but, I thought *Eridanus* was the Greek word for “river” – as in the constellation? ūüėģ

  21. Messier Tidy Upper

    PS. Great pareidolia. :-)

    @4. OneFuriousLlama : <3 Brain-deer <3 – LOL! ūüėÄ


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


See More

Collapse bottom bar