a melted ice cream stain in front of a soda machine in Houston attracted pilgrims when people noticed that the stain kinda/sorta looked like the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Corpus Christi Caller-Times - Jan 14, 2000
Some analysis from an article by J. Rhett Rushing ("Homemade Religion: Miraculous Images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary in South Texas") that appeared in 2001: A Texas Folklore Odyssey
For more dogmatic Catholics and most Protestants, periodic updates and reminders from major religious figures are just not part of their world. In South Texas, however, the largely Hispanic and Catholic population seems quite eager to accept the near-weekly images, apparitions, and miracles that pop up as reminders of religious intent and markers of faith.
Unsettling to the Catholic clergy and other, more formal religious folks, these widespread images of religious figures are not only immediately accepted by some of the local believers, but in fact, are quite expected.. . .
At a southside Houston apartment complex in February of 2000, I witnessed a "folk mass" of nine women praying, taking a version of communion, and supplicating themselves to an image of the Virgin that miraculously appeared in a melting ice cream spill next to the laundry room's Coke machine. Later interviews confirmed that the group had no leader and certainly no church sanction for their activities, but as Maria B. explained, "When the Virgin comes to see you, you don't wait for the priest."
Maria's remark seems to be the mantra for South Texas Hispanic Catholics. Historically underserved by the Catholic Church, religion for many was learned and practice at the altarcitas and grutas of the family.
San Francisco Examiner - Jan 14, 2000
While preparing veggies for Christmas dinner, Shaunagh Roberts was surprised to see the face of Jesus staring back at her from a Brussels sprout. Though she admits it might also be Johnny Depp. (I think it looks a bit like Einstein.)
She says, "I didn't have the heart to cook him so I left the sprout in a corner cupboard and he just sat up there for a little while. After he stopped looking like Jesus he got put in the green recycling bin."
More info: The Sun
Oct 5, 1977:
Maria Rubio was preparing a tortilla in a skillet in her home in Lake Arthur, New Mexico. When she looked down, she realized that a burn mark on the tortilla resembled the face of Jesus.
The Rubio family created a small shrine where they displayed the "Jesus tortilla". Over the years, tens of thousands of people came to see it. Many of the pilgrims believed that the tortilla had the power to heal.
Maria Rubio with tortilla - 1978
Maria Rubio's daughter, Angelica, grew up to become a New Mexico state senator, and she kept a blog where she discussed her experiences with the holy tortilla.
She also wrote an article on eater.com about it
The Jesus Tortilla - source: thetortillakid.com
According to Roadside America:
"In late 2005, Mrs. Rubio's granddaughter took the Miracle Tortilla into school for Show and Tell, and it was dropped and broken! The shed shrine has been closed and the remains retired to a drawer in the Rubio's home."
Albuquerque Journal - Dec 22, 1987
Last month, crowds in Magangue, Columbia flocked to see an image resembling Jesus that appeared in a tree at night.
Streetlights beneath the tree created the illusion. So it's not clear why no one had ever noticed it before.
As far as pareidolia goes, it's actually a pretty good one.
More info: The Sun
The tree during the day:
In 1933, Miss Winifred Mondeau found on her property a wasp’s nest that resembled a human face.
Newport News Daily Press - July 6, 1933
Some googling reveals that there’s a minor genre of wasp (and hornet) nests that resemble faces. The one below, for example, was found in the yard of Brenda Montgomery in 2017. Though it's not as good as the one from 1933.
many motorists claimed they could see the face of Jesus in a Pizza Hut billboard outside of Atlanta.
I do see a face, but it doesn't look anything like a Jesus face to me.
Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer - May 26, 1991
Donald Forsha Jones (1890-1963)
was an American genetics researcher at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. Among biologists, he's remembered for improving corn production through his introduction of double-cross hybridization. In fact, the dominance of corn in world agriculture rests, in many ways, on his scientific contributions. However, he's not remembered for being a particularly colorful or eccentric character. Except for one moment in his career when a hint of weirdness surfaced. That was the time in April 1940 when he warned of the malignant influence of swastika-shaped chromosomes.
More in extended >>
The ad below may look, at first glance, like it's showing a perfectly innocent scene of a child kissing his mother's pregnant belly. But when it ran in Florida papers back in 2010, a lot of people saw something completely different. They were convinced it was a picture of a man mooning a child. According to Adweek.com:
"We were deluged," says a clinic rep. "Callers kept saying, 'You're disgusting! I can't believe you'd put that in the paper: a picture of a man mooning a child.' " Adds a second client rep: "This came out of nowhere. People were screaming at us about it, and none of us could fathom which ad they were talking about and what they were seeing."
It's like one of those gestalt shift images. Once you see the mooning man, it's obvious.
image source: deceptology.com
I promise this will be my last Cheetos-themed post for a while. But for some reason, I've been coming across a lot of weird stuff about Cheetos recently.
The latest is Cheetos pareidolia, which is the phenomenon of Cheetos that look like things. Often these unique Cheetos end up on eBay, where they command high prices. For instance, right now, for only $650, you can buy a Cheeto shaped like a shrimp
In 2017, a man found a Cheeto shaped like the Virgin Mary
, and he promptly put it up for sale.
Also in 2017, a Cheeto shaped like the gorilla Harambe almost sold for $100,000
And some, such as photographer Andy Huot, find inspiration in the many shapes of Cheetos. Huot has an Instagram page dedicated to what he calls 'cheese curl art'
. Below is his version of the March of Progress
, rendered in Cheetos.