The Man in the Moon explained: Nouchine Hadjikhani on pareidolia

April 7, 2014

The Swedish TV show Kobra recently spoke with Nouchine Hadjikhani about the phenomenon known as Pareidolia, in which we see faces where there are none. The human brain has developed an ability to identify faces, she says in the April 2 episode, but it has done this so efficiently that it sometimes detects faces too often. (For evidence of Pareidolia, look no farther than the popular hashtag #Iseefaces.)

The episode also notes the human tendency to see certain faces over and over again: the man in the moon, or Jesus on a burnt slice of toast. "The brain is a predictive system," Hadjikhani explains. "Once your brain has detected something, it will keep on seeing that."

Watch the segment—and see faces where you least expect them—in the video below.