Seeing Faces in Physics Experiments

Scientists say that it's just pareidolia - a fancy word meaning that humans tend to see images or faces in random things, but surely they're wrong. Sure, you can shrug off religious sightings as overly active imaginations of fanatics, but what if these images come from the world of science. Just think about it, people. Science!

James Dacey of Blog spotted two such phenomena:

Michael Jackson: This Is It (It Being Polymer Droplet)

Physicist David Fairhurst of Nottingham Trent University was working on a physics experiment involving droplet of polymer solution (those wacky scientists!) when he saw the face of Michael Jackson!

The ugly-looking globular mound is a droplet of polymer solution, the kind of substance you might find in the ink cartridges of your printer. As the solution began to dry, Fairhurst noticed a number of small “spherulites” begin to crystallise on the droplet surface revealing what appears to be a tiny human face. [...]

The physicist and his group of PhD students reckon the face looks like a small girl, or possibly even the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

I ran the image through an online face-recognition programme and the names that came out included: Rachel Carson, the American environmentalist; Marlene Dietrich the German-born actress; and (tenuously) Iggy Pop.

Link - via Geekosystem, thanks Glenn!

The Beatles in Bouncing Water Droplet

It was whilst writing a story this afternoon about water-repellency in lotus leaves that I noticed something very strange. Bizarrely, everybody’s favourite mop-topped Liverpudlian seems to reveal himself in the high-speed photo images of water-droplets being ejected from the leaf surface.


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Well, what they can start doing is stop looking at the photos in black and white. It's the same story with the face on the moon. With such limited contrast, you are bound to make more familiar pattern connections than normal.
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