CLICK HERE to be taken to a wonderful web site full of illusions that will test your perceptive abilities and make you better aware of just how the brain's perceptive abilities work (and don't work) to give us a sense of the world around us. For a preview of such wonders, click the image to the right and stare at it for a moment. Although your brain may tell you otherwise, I promise it's not actually moving.
CLICK HERE to see some creative examples of pareidolia created by photos of solar prominences. Very funny stuff! See Bigfoot in the image to the right?!
For another real-life example of how people can be fooled by their own senses, take the recent event in Florida that many hailed as miraculous. Some would say the miracle was the of the appearance of the "Virgin Mary" in a grilled cheese sandwich. Others would say that the true miracle occurred some 10 years later, when the owner (and griller) of the sandwich sold it on eBay for $28,000.
What is it about the human nervous system that allows us to make order out of the disorder in stimulus input around us? Why do we unconsciously seek out faces in random visual stimuli? How do our brains make sense of this chaos of light rays, sound waves, tactile sensations, etc., and in what ways do we "get it wrong"?
Answers to questions such as these may lead us to a better understanding of such illusions as that on the sandwich in question (which I, personally, think looks more like Mary Pickford), as well as to the bumps in the night that some interpret as proof of ghosts, the phantom limb sensations of amputees, and the many other that we misperceive the world around us.