Definition: Recognition of images in random patterns, such as the rabbit in the sky
Pareidolia stems from the Greek words para meaning instead (in this context interpreted as faulty or wrong) and the noun eidolon meaning image.
Why this word?
I am sure you all remember spotting imaginary figures in clouds, shadows, waters or anywhere else possible. This great phenomenon is called pareidolia and it is a great word to have mainly as it is one of a kind!
Moreover, pareidolia is sometimes considered as a harbinger of news, signaling events to be positive or negative completely depending on the type of pareidolia. I can recall one of the last popes’ inauguration after which a Jesus-like figure was seen in the sky by many a believer. You can guess what news they thought it signaled!
How to use the word Pareidolia in a sentence?
Next time you spot an ice-cream in the clouds, call it your pareidolia.
“Everyone knows that I’m a bit of a connoisseur of pareidolia.”
“Among the religious, a particularly common strain of pareidolia is to see Jesus or Mary in patterns on anything from pancakes, to windows, to trees and even MRI scans”