Pareidolia Religion Skepticism/critical thinking

Some Christmas pareidolia

Everyone knows how much I live pareidolia. It never ceases to amaze me how the human mind can impose imagery on everyday things. We’ve seen Jesus on toast, on sheet metal, in rocks, on trees, and in windows. We’ve seen the Virgin Mary on a similar bunch of things–even a Lava lamp or a freeway underpass.

However, this is the first time I’ve seen both Mary and the baby Jesus in hard candy.

Hmmm. Personally I don’t see it, even with the picture of Mary and baby Jesus put right next to the candy. It looks more like a map to me. Perhaps my faith isn’t strong enough.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

14 replies on “Some Christmas pareidolia”

You don’t see it because you didn’t do what the reporter said you should do, “Let the imagination go”. I see it. But since you mentioned maps I also see Pangea in the process of breaking up into new continents. I also see a turtle supporting the world on its back, which I’m sure is encouraging news for some devout Hindus (as well as some Native North American literalists).

Seriously. And exactly how many Renaissance Art and History of Western Art texts did he( or they) have to scour in search of a Madonna and Child that vaguely approximates orientation of heads and spots-seen-as-heads?

OT – but while we’re on the subject of seeing things that aren’t really there- Mike Adams ( NaturalNews; 12-19-10) “informs” us that “UK non-profits end era of sunlight ignorance and vitamin D denial”. Be that as it may, I’m sticking to my SPF 100+.

Huh. At my house, one of the kids would find it, no matter where it was hid, and try to eat it.

… looks like a panel of xkcd to me.

Also, delicious. I love that kind of hard candy.

That was one messed up snowflake in there. Remind me to check all my millefiori pieces for divine grace.

It looks like a BLOB to me, frankly. Now, on my fourth viewing of the video, I can kinda see what he’s seeing, but it’s pretty typical of pareidolia — vague.

Of course, it should be trivial for candy makers to DELIBERATELY put these images into the candy, though given the nature of this type of candy, it will require some care and craft. If the manufacturer is clever, they will do so. ūüėČ


It would indeed be easy to throw a religious symbol instead of a star or snowflake into the candy. You can pay to have candy custom-made for weddings with the bride & grooms names, ect. I think it’s rare because few people want to eat baby Jesus (and many would see it as blasphemous/idolatory). Also because, as you can see from this example, Baby Jeebus would get all wonky, and no one wants Baby Jeebus to cry.

I can see why the guy in the video would think that Mary & baby Jesus had appeared in his hard candy.

It’s definitely no more than some kind of manufacturing defect.

On the whole, it strikes me as ridiculous that people would expect divine and not-so-divine figures from particular religious traditions would manifest themselves on things like hard candy, toast, or, digging into the past here at Insolence, bathroom tiles.

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