Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Seeing Faces in the Forest

some people see bigfoot in every photo
Bigfoot is that you?


This Post By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher. Dorraine is a Professional Writer, a nature, wildlife and Bigfoot enthusiast who has written for many magazines. Dorraine conducts research, special interviews and more for The Crypto Crew. Get Dorraine's book The Book Of Blackthorne! 


Seeing Faces in the Forest
The Real Purpose of Pareidolia?
By Dorraine Fisher


Pareidolia, to those familiar with it, has become kind of a bad word in the bigfoot world. It’s often described as the illusion or misperception of seeing faces in just about anything. Clouds, food, smoke, rocks. It doesn’t matter. And it’s one of the major factors the helps keep heated arguments going in bigfoot discussions in the analysis of supposed bigfoot photographs. And how many items have turned up on Ebay because they appeared to have the face of some significant or famous person? It seems it’s really easy for humans to see faces in everything, and bigfoot photographs often set off the pareidolia smoke detectors. Simply show some people a photograph of a supposed bigfoot, and they’ll often see ten more primate faces in the same photo.

Mental health professionals still use the old Rorschach inkblot test to determine the psychological state of an individual. It can be a valuable tool in analyzing the personal perceptions of patients. So if we experience pareidolia and we see a dozen sasquatches in a forest photo, does that mean we’re bordering on crazy?

Probably not.

There’s always a reason for our little idiosyncrasies…no matter how annoying they can be. Usually if all humans possess a certain trait, like pareidolia, you can bet it was adapted as some kind of survival mechanism that helped keep our tree swinging, cave dwelling ancestors alive. And in modern life, when human survival is redefined and it becomes a nuisance, we’ll just call it an illusion or an irritation. But is that really accurate?

Many scientists are now embracing a theory introduced by Carl Sagan. He believed that pareidolia evolved in us as a survival tool; the ability to readily distinguish friend from foe.

Of course, it had to be necessary. When they talk of it this way, it seems like a very basic, fundamental life skill. In the daily life of our forest dwelling ancestors, it was necessary to be able to recognize our parents, siblings, and other significant others in the dense foliage of the forest. Or anywhere else, for that matter. In order to hide or make our escape, we needed to be able to recognize our clan member’s or enemy’s faces very quickly. We needed to be able to always see faces no matter what, so we could either run away from them or run to them for safety.

We all unconsciously look for faces when we feel unsafe or anxious. But why then, do we see so many faces in everything? Too many faces?

Well, it could possibly be that in the course of our evolution, Mother Nature felt it was better for us to be designed to see far too many faces everywhere rather than to see none at all.

But does that mean those faces we or they see really don’t exist after all?

Not really. But it doesn’t mean they definitely do either. We should always try to be objective.

And maybe we’ll never know for sure, but maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on those who experience pareidolia. They may have an insight we don’t have. We’ve all experienced it at one time or another and it can be a great tool. And it’s one good example of where weird is actually normal. How often do we find living proof of that? ********DF

 



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