Faces in the Cloud

It usually takes a little bit of Hollywood magic to convincingly make a cloud look like a person's face, but a man in New Brunswick, Canada might have seen the real thing.

In the video, shot by YouTube user "denisfarmer" and posted on, the clouds are moving fast, which is actually pretty typical for a big storm front like this one. As they do, a man's profile seems to emerge, and even resembles Abraham Lincoln at one point. That the clouds change shape quickly and frequently increases the chance that some combination of bumps, puffs and wisps will emerge to look like a face.

It also takes a little luck: It looks as if the face might be composed of multiple layers of the cloud front that come together to look like a face from only his vantage point.

But we probably wouldn't recognize faces in the clouds at all if not for a neat brain trick called pareidolia, the technical term for the common human tendency to seek out and find familiar patterns in random objects. It's why a camera artifact might look like a base station on Mars, or ice floes that look like crashed UFOs to some folks. But humans are especially geared toward seeing faces, which partly explains why people have reported seeing the face of Gandhi on Mars, as well as the iconic "Face on Mars." Face In Cloud



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