Category:
Pareidolia

The Ice Cream Virgin

January 2000: 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

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 19, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Religion, 2000s, Pareidolia

Brussels Sprout Jesus

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

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 27, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Religion, Pareidolia

The Jesus Tortilla

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

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 21, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Religion, 1970s, Pareidolia

Jesus in a Tree

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:

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 30, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Religion, Pareidolia

Wasp Face

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.


Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 08, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Insects and Spiders, 1930s, Pareidolia

Spaghetti Jesus

May 1991: 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

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 12, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Religion, 1990s, Billboards, Pareidolia

The Swastika Chromosomes of D.F. Jones



D.F. Jones

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 >>

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 11, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Science, 1940s, Pareidolia

Belly or butt?

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

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 18, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Confusion, Misunderstanding, and Incomprehension, Advertising, Pareidolia

Cheetos Pareidolia

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.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 10, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Junk Food, Pareidolia





weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •