Paranormal Pareidolia Skepticism/critical thinking

Ghost hunting, the “Let’s get it on” edition

I must admit, I’m rather happy that October is over, as that means that the local news stations doing all sorts of brain dead fluff stories about the paranormal. On the other hand, if I were still living in Cleveland, I’d miss out on awesome pareidolia like this:

Here’s what they’re talking about:


And here’s more of a close-up:


I have to admit, I can see the resemblance. I can also see that it’s almost certainly nothing more than a reflection off of the camera lens. Also remember that this picture was taken with what looks like a cheap cell phone camera. It is, however, fantastic pareidolia.

It does raise some interesting questions, though. If ghosts are incorporeal, then why do they need to get it on? That is, after all, a physical act that relies on human physiology to be pleasurable. At the risk of being a bit blunt, if there are no parts rubbing against other parts, what would be the point if you’re a ghost and don’t have any parts to rub against other parts?

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]

16 replies on “Ghost hunting, the “Let’s get it on” edition”

Um. Wow. That could really be just about anything. The cell phone thing was just a bad connection…

One theory about ghosts is that they are an imprint left by humans when in an highly emotional state. Usually most people take this to mean moments of fear or upset, but hey, getting it on is just as emotional

I have to admit I have NOT been able to see the red hooker heels that the woman said are in the image. I kept looking. Maybe I should have picked up my laptop and turned it this way and that?

I hate these eye-teasers. I’m with Mrs. Woo. I can’t see anything. Orac, can you draw an outline around the hanky panky for us please? ūüėČ #ghostporn

If ghosts are incorporeal, then why do they need to get it on?

Old habits die hard. Pun intended.

Sorry. not seeing it. at the most, I see a vague image of what could be a Lilly with a large stamen. #OccupyOrac

Aw, I can’t see it either. The spirits do not favour me.

I don’t suppose anyone here saw the Morning Show in Australia today. A viewer questioned their resident “psychic” about lights in photographs of her daughter. Apparently, this was her daughter’s guardian angel… Not an incredibly obvious lens flare. Also, that jerk you feel before falling asleep sometimes? That’s your spirit returning from some astral galavanting.

This kind of thing just makes me despair.

I am surprised others can’t see what seems very obvious to me. It’s like one of those optical illusion tests that reveal a lot about your unconscious….I feel dirty now.

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