Simply 6 Minutes: This Actually Happens…

Realizing that this is a piece of artwork that was intentionally drawn to look like this, have you ever seen something like this that happens totally on its own? I have, or at least I thought I have. It especially happens when there’s nothing but ambient light in a room: I’ll spot something that might just be a piece of paper or a random sock on the floor, and my mind will morph it into something else, and I’ll think "what is that?" My brain will try and make me see something that isn’t there. Certainly something other than a sock, a piece of paper, or whatever…

I forgot to do this one last week, mostly because I was totally struck by the scene. It’s amazing what a good artist Nature is and how it knows just how something like this is done. You could sit down and try to reproduce something like this with crayons, paint, colored pencils, or just about any artistic medium and not be able to draw this as perfectly as nature did.

Christine runs Simply 6 Minutes.

26 thoughts on “Simply 6 Minutes: This Actually Happens…

  1. John,

    My mind has played plenty tricks on my imagination. I think the artistic works as depicted in your first example are quite neat. I love stuff like this but you’re so right about Nature being an amazing artist and no matter how great a human artist is he/she can’t make such perfection. That second photo is awesome!

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  2. It took me a moment to work out the top image. Finally saw it! My brain was rather fixed on the nature, not the woman. And yes, that happens to me as well.

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    1. The trick is that you have to mentally change your focus. It’s like the picture of the old woman in a babushka that, when you look a second time, becomes a young woman in a fur coat and fancy hat.

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  3. Many years ago I read somewhere that seeing things like this was a sign of insanity. Kind of absurd I think. To me it’s just imagination. I see things like this all the time.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Look up “pareidolia”, “apophenia”, and “agenticity”. The ability to find patterns is a fundamental tool and characterization of intelligence (no matter how great or small). Being able to identify faces instantly is critical to a young animal’s or person’s survival. Recognizing “too many patterns”, e.g., conspiracies and hidden actors or messages where there are none, is indeed a mistuning of this cognitive feature (“a kind of insanity”). but these are very deep questions about the meaning of meaning that I think are not best discussed here.

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  4. Oh yes! This happens to me all the time. Many times while driving by a house I just knew there was a large black dog sitting in the yard. He was always there in the same position. Turns out I finally figured out it was a tree stump! 🙂

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