The human brain is specialized in finding patterns and shapes; that’s why we recognize the faces of people we know, organize time in regular cycles, and also why it is so difficult to make a convincing seamless loop of ambient sound from a short recording. A side effect of this ability is that we often find patterns where there are not, like when we look at the clouds and see dragons, lambs or synthesizers.
However, while nobody would say that a cloud is actually a dragon, other things are more controversial. Is it really a face what the Viking orbiter photographed over the surface of Mars? I guess that the safe answer is that it looks like a face, though some people have taken the issue much further.
This said, I would like to share two findings that quite surprised me a few days ago. These are satellite images of two spots on Earth, as found in google maps and windows live local. I have asked some people for their opinion, and while some of them stared at the images the same way I did, others didn’t see anything at all, so I won’t bias you (or your imagination) by telling what you’re supposed to find. I´m most impressed about the first one, since the surroundings of the “feature” are very interesting too (I’ll just say that you may find it better by tilting your head to the right).
Here are the links:
http://local.live.com/ (Unfortunately the zoom doesn’t go further, but it is still possible to see the “feature” around the center of the image).
Update: If you don´t see anything, try comparing the images with the ones shown here.