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  • Writer's pictureBetty Girardeau

Do You See It, Too?

After living in the woods for a majority of my adult life I am daily in awe of the views of the sky that I get here. There are few evening walks when I don't take a picture of it or, at the least, just stop for a few minutes and do a 360 degree turn to admire all of what is spreading out over my head. The sky here seems to be especially interesting with a wide variety of all kinds of clouds to be seen. Because the sun is usually setting when I am out walking, they are shown off in ways that they aren't during the earlier parts of the day. When I was a child I would sometimes lie down in the grass and stare at the clouds, trying to imagine "things" in the shapes of the clouds. Last night on my walk, as I turned for home, I didn't even have to imagine this cloud formation. It's a lobster! Literally six minutes before I had taken a picture of these same clouds from almost the same location. The view was very pretty, but the clouds definitely just looked like clouds. But now, because of upper air winds no doubt, they had been reconfigured. I have learned that there is a whole science related to being able to recognize something in random objects. It's called the Science of Pareidolia. That "p" word looks and sounds kind of creepy to me. But apparently I don't have to worry that I am losing my mind because I can do this. I read that it is perfectly normal. In fact the word for this is Greek and means "resembling an image." Wanting to know more about pareidolia, I found this comforting explanation:

"For many years, scientists had a variety of explanations for this phenomenon. Some thought that seeing faces in the clouds was a symptom of psychosis while others, including famous scientist Carl Sagan, thought that pareidolia came from an evolutionary need to recognize people or potential threats quickly. In actuality, pareidolia comes from our need to organize random information into patterns."

So, I have to ask again, do you see the lobster, too?

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