Inside Out Blog

Why Do We See Faces in Everything?

Why do we see faces in everything?

Now Thats Just Unfortunate!!

Now Thats Just Unfortunate!!

Okay so the Science bit first, the reason is a psychological phenomenon called Pareidolia (Par-i-Doh-lee-a). It involves a stimulus, Audio or Visual, that causes the mind to see a pattern that doesn't really exist. 

This also explains demonic messages heard in songs... Check out the new album by Daniel O'Donnell here for example. (As If! - Sorry Daniel)

Pareidolia makes us see patterns in random images and see faces in places they would not normally exist. This is caused by stimulation to a part of the brain called the Fusiform Gyrus that helps us recognise subtle differences in faces to recognise over 10,000 in our lifetime. It also helps us recognise differences in colour and shapes that form words. 

Freeze Police!

Freeze Police!

As Humans we use shapes to understand and communicate. over 70% of our communication is non visual. Your own body language, meaning more to the person you are talking to than the actual words. 

So why are we seeing faces?
Fundamentally we expect to see faces in photographs. When we look at an image we are expecting to see people, somewhere. So when we see a series of shapes in formation, we can identify them as a face because they contain the basic shapes we understand as the human face. 

This is where it gets strange. What if, the random faces we saw in things had emotions?

"You used me for the toilets. THANKS"

"You used me for the toilets. THANKS"

Let's call this mop head, cranky, annoyed or unimpressed with its current situation. 

What about this plane

Ha! You should have seen what i left in the toilet for that poor mop!

Ha! You should have seen what i left in the toilet for that poor mop!

Or even this meter that seems to be gleeful, and have a comforting smile. 

What do these things have in common?

They have shapes that as humans, we read from the faces of others in order to understand the emotional state of that person. Anyone I have photographed reading this, look for the shapes I speak about. Look for what should be flat, what should curl and how the combination of the shapes makes you feel. 

What about the mop. Okay, it looks grumpy. Why? It doesn't have a nose or ears! Could that explain it. No. The mop is an inanimate object. It doesn't care it spends its day soaked in waste or that it can't hear. If anything. Toilet mop is delighted it can't smell it's own environment!!

It's all in the shapes. The eyebrows shown because of the shadows. The rings that shape similar to those of pupils. The flat mouth. Maybe this just mimics the face of someone in a bad mood. 

All of the images below simply show a series of shapes we understand. The shapes of the eyes, the shapes of the mouth and even the position of the head. 

Remember these things. They are important. They give us feeling. 

How you walk in the skin you wear is your decision. Why not embrace it? What other choice do you have!