While looking for something cool to post about regarding cartography and urban planning (another one of my interests), I came across this recent blog post about pareidolia – finding meaning in seemingly random patterns.
We’re all familiar with the concept of pareidolia. There was even a recent episode of Glee that discusses it. I can’t think of specific instances that I can find an article about (mainly cause I’m being lazy), but here is a Wikipedia page discusses various religious icons showing up in the world.
The examples they present in this post are great. While at first glance I wouldn’t think of these objects as necessarily resembling any one place, I can see the desire to do so.
It’s similar in concept to the uncanny valley. When you come across something that FEELS familiar, we want to attach something to it. Something that we know. For some people, the most comforting image to attach is something religious. For them, the thought of seeing religious imagery out and about reinforces their beliefs.
When I see a pattern in something, I don’t associate it with anything. I just acknowledge that there is a pattern there. I find comfort in recognizing patterns, because it makes it seem that there is some order in my world.