Have you ever laid on the grass on a nice summer day and looked for different shapes, faces, and animals in the clouds? I think most have at one point or another done exactly that. This is a psychological phenomenon called pareidolia—a type of illusion involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something clear and distinct. In layman’s terms, seeing distinct, recognizable shapes in everyday objects.
The Rorschach test, commonly known as the inkblot test, uses this same premise as a means for psychologists to gain insight into the personality characteristics, emotional functioning, and mental state of their patients.
But more than anything else, lying back in the grass and seeing these shapes in the clouds is really about being creative, letting your imagination make sense of these random patterns in the clouds and recognize them as something familiar.
Recently, I found these distinct objects not by looking up but by looking down at the sand while walking back along a beach after taking pictures of the sunrise.
The tide was just receding so the sand was still wet and the low sun was accenting these beautiful patterns in the sand. The way the lines converged with each other gave the distinct impression of trees. Nature’s temporary fossil creations, soon to be dried out and trampled on by revelers on the beach.
Here’s a couple of images of the abstract art found in nature from that day on the beach. And if you see anything other than trees, it is definitely worth some analysis.
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