Exercise 1.1 Paredolia

Look at the painting The Eye of Silence and see whether you can distinguish the intended from unintended faces. Which seem most ambiguous?

In figure 1, I show the faces which I can see in Max Ernst’s painting The Eye of Silence, each isolated with a coloured numbered box (#1 to #15).

Figure 1, Eye of Silence by Max Ernst with numbered areas

I can see human faces in boxes 1, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 15.  I see a cartoon dog at box 2, some sort of rabbit creature at box 3, and a one eyed grinning frog at box 4.  Box 5 shows the face of a cat, and box 6 has a Merlinesque creature with head tilting to one side!  Finally, boxes 7, 12 and 13 have faces which are rather obscure and probably the most ambiguous as I cannot readily associate them to a recognisable life form.

I believe there is only one intended face, being the face of the woman at square number 14.


Look up the term ‘pareidolia’.
Find and record three examples, at least one of which should be seen in nature.

According to Dictionary.com:
Pareidolia is … ‘the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features’

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Pareidolia is … ‘the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern’

Here are three interesting examples from the internet.

Frightened bell peppers

Found on Boredpanda.com -> link


A sad bag

Found on Barnorama.com -> link


Hard man, perhaps his name is Rocky.

Found on Americas-most-haunted.com -> link