A Flock of Birds Form the Face of a Monkey
Pareidolia knows no bounds. That is a short way of saying that our brains are perpetually tasked with making order out of chaos for, ultimately, survival advantages. Pareidolia is the phenomenon of seeing patterns in random objects. Examples include seeing identifiable shapes in cloud formations, the front of cars looking like faces, or seeing the heart-shaped terrain on Pluto. It is constantly happening and we (almost) never stop to think about it.
However, an excellent reminder made the headlines recently, when video footage captures a flock of birds (supposedly starlings, and therefore by definition, a murmuration) in flight, twisting and turning among themselves and forming, for about a second, what appears to be the likeness of Russian President Vladmir Putin.
There is doubt – appropriately so – as to the authenticity of the video, with some people claiming the video has been altered. However, murmurations are very impressive looking displays in nature, and there are many examples to behold. Regardless, it is no less an example of pareidolia. Have a look and judge for yourself.