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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Pareidolia
A Whole Bunch of Pareidolia — I've been falling behind on my pareidolia updates. So I'm lumping all the recent sightings together in one post: Spumoni Jesus Some patrons of Hatch Family Chocolates in Salt Lake City claimed to be able to see the image of Jesus in a 3-gallon bucket of spumoni ice cream. Me: I can't see it at all. Spumoni Jesus started to melt, so they ate him. (Thanks, Bob!) Face in Log This one has been getting a lot of attention. Ernest Ward, a groundskeeper at Magnolia Cemetery in Maryville,…
Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008.   Comments (12)

Holy Potato — Cranky Media Guy wants to know "Who in the press can we implore to PLEASE MAKE THIS NONSENSE STOP?" He's referring to the most recent finding of a holy potato. From thelocal.de: A potato destined for the fryer has become a holy relic to some Berliners after a woman cut it open only to find an image of a cross inside. Birgül Balta, 49, was cutting potatoes for French fries at her home in Berlin's Charlottenburg district when the cross-shaped cavity inside one of the spuds stopped her…
Posted: Thu May 08, 2008.   Comments (11)

Bigfoot Potato Chip — Don't miss out on this gem on eBay. The seller says: "I have here for auction one ruffled potato chip that looks like Bigfoot. Just for fun, let's call him Chipfoot. The chip is in very good/stable condition and should ship quite nicely." I'd make a bid, but at $3 it's already too pricey for me.
Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008.   Comments (12)

Jesus Baking Tin — Hudson Pace writes: "I was scraping out a baking tin when I discovered this Face of Jesus on the bottom! I thought of putting it on Ebay, but then I thought, I don't need the money, so why not cut out the middleman and send the picture straight to the Museum of Hoaxes? Hope you like it." Very nice. Thanks, Hudson. And it's made me think that I really should create a Pareidolia Gallery to better categorize all these image-bearing baking tins, trees, pieces of toast, etc.
Posted: Wed Apr 09, 2008.   Comments (20)


The Lady in the Tree — More tree pareidolia. But this time, it's not the Virgin Mary. It's a naked lady. In theory, it could be a naked Virgin Mary, but no one has made that claim. The tree, which is over 100 years old, stood on a corner in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It was going to be cut down. After its branches were removed, local residents noticed the woman. It wasn't enough to save the tree. They chopped it down anyway, but the owners are planning on making a statue out of the wood.
Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008.   Comments (12)

Toast Appears on Jesus Christ — John Ordover sent this in. He was looking at a picture of Jesus (or rather, an artist's interpretation of what Jesus might have looked like) when he realized a piece of toast had miraculously appeared on it. I think this must be a message from John's toaster! But can we be sure that actually is a piece of toast? It kinda looks like a granola bar to me.
Posted: Sun Mar 30, 2008.   Comments (64)

Cheesus and Mary — Two examples of religious pareidolia have made headlines recently. The first is "Cheesus" -- a Jesus-shaped Cheeto found by Steve Cragg, a youth director at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston. He actually found it a couple of years ago, but decided to unveil it recently in honor of Easter. The second is the Virgin Mary on an Easter egg. KGBT reports: "Veronica Cervera said she was making "cascarones" by dyeing hollow eggshells on Good Friday when an image suddenly…
Posted: Tue Mar 25, 2008.   Comments (9)

Palm Leaf Mary — And now for your daily pareidolia. (Well, weekly pareidolia, at least.) Manny Duenas of Sacramento was cutting down some old palm leaves in his yard -- on Palm Sunday, no less -- when he happened to look at one of the leaves in his hand and saw an image of the Virgin Mary cradling baby Jesus in her arms. Duenas says: "God is out there and maybe these are one of the messages that they send." Actually, I don't so much see the Virgin Mary figure, but I definitely see an outline of the…
Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008.   Comments (7)

Jesus in the Door — Ten years ago Wendy Divock felt a touch on her cheek. She thought it was her husband touching her, but when she turned around, he wasn't there. What she saw instead was an image of a face in her closet door. Initially Wendy and her husband called the image the "guy in the door," but after doing some research on the internet they decided that it was Jesus. The pastor across the street assures them that the image is "very significant and that it's authentic." The Dovicks have created a…
Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008.   Comments (23)

Solar Mary — According to the website dnaindia.com, 50 people in the Kottayam district of India have lost their vision after gazing into the sun for hours trying to see an image of the Virgin Mary: Though alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers, curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging the venue of the ‘miracle’. St Joseph’s ENT and Eye Hospital in Kanjirappally alone has…
Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008.   Comments (1)

Jesus or Mary in a tree — Donna and Frank Pascariello have a tree on their property that has a light patch on its bark. Of course, the patch MUST represent a religious figure of some kind. This is the rule whenever trees display any kind of discoloration. However, in the case of the Pascariello's tree, no one is sure exactly which religious figure it is. Jesus? Mary? A saint? I think it looks like a generic ghost.
Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008.   Comments (15)

Jesus (or a lobster) in a tree — Here's another "Jesus Image in a Tree" for my collection. This one was found by Pennsylvania resident Craig O'Connor. MyFoxColorado.com reports: By counting the tree rings, O'Connor believes the tree was at least 40-50 years old. As a furniture maker of 25 years, O'Connor has worked with wood and seen plenty of different stains and marks. He says this one is radically different from all the others. O'Connor is a Catholic and believes it's a sign from God. When asked what the message is,…
Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2008.   Comments (10)

Martian Pareidolia — With the Martian Bigfoot recently making headlines, Dr. Charles Lintott wrote an article for the BBC that traces the long history of Martian pareidolia. Something about Mars makes us see things that aren't really there. It began with early astronomers believing that the surface of Mars was covered with canals. During the 1960s, some astronomers reported seeing signs of vegetation on the planet's surface. The image below shows (on the top row) the Martian canals. The bottow row (from…
Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008.   Comments (14)

Petrified Foot — Bob (aka Cranky Media Guy) sent me a link to an article about "Scientific Hoaxes" scanned from the Dec. 1931 issue of Modern Mechanix magazine. I love old popular-science magazines like this. They're a great source of strange information. Unfortunately whoever scanned this article missed two pages, so you skip from a discussion of the Central Park Zoo Escape straight into a discussion of the Cardiff Giant. Nevertheless, the image of a "petrified foot" on the front page caught my…
Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2008.   Comments (12)

Ghostly face floats near floor — 17-year-old Matthew Summers used his mobile phone to take a picture of his sister and some friends as they were preparing to go out. Closer inspection of the photo revealed a ghostly face floating near the floor. Thisislondon.co.uk writes: His photo joins a long line of apparently paranormal snaps. The most memorable in recent times was a cloaked figure photographed standing in a doorway at Hampton Court Palace in 2003. However, Ciaran O'Keeffe, a parapsychologist on Living TV's…
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008.   Comments (27)

Jesus Hides in Potatoes — Renee Brewster of Florida found Jesus while preparing potato salad. His image was clearly visible in the moldy rot that had formed in the center of the first potato she split open. She put aside the holy potato and finished making the potato salad, which reportedly tasted excellent. According to MyFoxOrlando, Renee and her husband feel that "the site of their savior in a potato has reinvigorated their faith." But Cranky Media Guy wonders if this is manufactured pareidolia, noting…
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008.   Comments (7)

The Martian Bigfoot — Flora posted an image in the forum of what looks like a Martian bigfoot. (I inserted a picture of the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot for comparison.) According to metro.co.uk, the image was taken by NASA's Mars Explorer Spirit, but it "wasn't until space and science fiction enthusiasts became involved that the images were taken more seriously." Here's the complete NASA image (thanks, Mongo) from which the image above was enlarged. I drew a red circle around the Bigfoot image. It's barely…
Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008.   Comments (15)

Virgin Mary on Living Room Wall — A New Mexico family reports that an image of the Virgin Mary has appeared in the pattern of the texture of their wall. Their granddaughter says, "I think God is trying to tell us something, like a message from heaven." Maybe that message is, "Don't get a job applying wall texture." Is it just me, or are these Virgin Mary sightings getting harder and harder to see? I can barely make this one out at all. Bob forwarded me the link with the comment, "How ridiculous would a 'sighting' of…
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008.   Comments (21)

Jesus X-Ray — A Florida man who recently had a chest X-ray says that he can see Jesus in it. Which raises the question, just what HAS that guy been smoking? Personally, I can't see it at all. (Thanks Joe and Bob)
Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007.   Comments (21)

Virgin Mary in Pancakes and Trees — We've got a pareidolia double feature. First up is an image of the Virgin Mary that some claim to see in a sycamore tree that was burned in the recent Southern California fires. The tree is located off the Sierra Highway in Los Angeles County. KNBC reports: Believers have left flowers and other offerings in front of the tree, turning it into a makeshift altar. Some also have left notes, hoping to be blessed after seeing the vision. Second up is a Jesus and Mary Pancake (which sounds…
Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007.   Comments (16)

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