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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Can You Spot Faces in These Everyday Objects?

To some people, these images will look pretty boring. To others, they will be looking right back.

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wallDurk Talsma/Shutterstock

Why we see human faces in inanimate objects

Have you ever seen a dog in the clouds? What about a face in this wall in Italy? The reason these fun but odd occurrences happen is because of pareidolia. This psychological phenomenon can cause people to see specific, meaningful shapes in random or vague images. It’s also how psychologists draw conclusions from the controversial Rorschach inkblot tests. Studies suggest that people who are more religious or believe in the paranormal and those who are neurotic or have negative moods are more prone to experiencing pareidolia. Are you one of them?

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Fire-hydrantDG Stock/Shutterstock

Fire hydrant… or a new Muppet character?

With the humorous expression on its “face,” this old fire hydrant could easily befriend Kermit the Frog or Big Bird. After all, they all have the same big bugging eyes. Now, can you spot the differences in these 10 photos?

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MountainsMelanie Hobson/Shutterstock

Two-faced mountains

Landscapes in the American southwest are riddled with mountainous rock structures like this one in Nevada’s Valley of Fire. If you look closely, you can see one (or more!) faces residing in their crevices.

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NutMichele Vacchiano/Shutterstock

The saddest nut you’ll ever see

At first glance, it’s hard to tell what the heck is in this picture—other than an extremely sad face. This is actually half of a chestnut, and it apparently did not like being cut up one bit. See if you can spot what’s wrong with these altered photos. More than 1 in 3 people can’t.

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RuinsAetherial Images/Shutterstock

Would you live in this screaming house?

Spectacular ocean views, a clear sky, blossoming flowers, why wouldn’t anyone want to live on this Greek island? Oh yeah, the house looks like it saw a ghost.

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FloorErnestine Wassermann/Shutterstock

You’ll be floored by this face

We sure wouldn’t want to step on a floor making this surprised face.

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FurnaceTacio Philip Sansonovski/Shutterstock

The shocked furnace

Some people look at this image and see an old piece of machinery that has seen better days—but you may see something else. Can you tell what’s going through that furnace’s mind?

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Don’t worry—bee happy

Without context, you may think this photo is of a papier-mâché smiling mask or a mythical woodland creature with a sense of humor. It’s actually a red hornet nest, which is certainly nothing to smile about.

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Good ol’ Rusty

Is this just ugly rust ruining a once shiny new ship, or is it a creepy-looking face? Hey, we can’t tell you. It’s whatever you think you see first, after all. Check out these tricky optical illusion photos that aren’t at all what they seem.

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Vegetal leaf looking like a happy face - pareidoliaTacio Philip Sansonovski/Shutterstock

The happiest leaf you’ll ever see

It looks like this leaf decayed in all the right places to bring us a happy face that’s honestly kind of cute. Disney, can you work with this?

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Pareidolia is the tendency to see shapes like human faces out of the randomness of every day objectsRichard van der Spuy/Shutterstock

A downcast light switch

This sad switch really dimmed our light.

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Pareidolia is the tendency to see shapes like human faces out of the randomness of every day objectsRichard van der Spuy/Shutterstock

E.T. phone home

Is it just us or does this beat-up fence hinge look like our favorite extraterrestrial?

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The woman in the rocks Tregardock Beach CornwallTim Knight/Shutterstock

The woman in the rocks

This smooth rock formation looks like a woman holding a hand to her face. We have to admit, it’s pretty beautiful. Baffled? Check out more optical illusions that will make your brain hurt.

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Smiling tree stumpS Sheppard/Shutterstock

The Giving Tree

This happy little tree stump reminds us of our favorite children’s book, The Giving Tree.

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An example of pareidolia: a piece of tree trunk looking like a face. Symbolize the unhappy NatureMaxal Tamor/Shutterstock

The witch in the tree

The face in this knobby tree bark looks like the witch from every popular fairytale. Creepy.

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Scared of the fall

This frightened coconut is probably pondering its impending doom… the ground.

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The ground in the grass looks like a perplexed faceCristiano1979/Shutterstock

Watch your step!

This little face doesn’t want to be squashed today.

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Face in a tree - Unretouched close-up of part of a tree which resembles the face of an animal.Ian Tragen/Shutterstock

It’s a dragon, it’s a moose, it’s a… tree?

Be careful… this tree looks like it could breathe fire. Ready for more tricky photos? See if you can you identify everyday objects by these close-up pictures.