As awesome as it is, in the end, it’s just matrixing

I was perusing around for something fun to blog about and came across this interesting story. A woman walking in England caught a photo of a cloud formation that looked very much like a face. It was excitedly reported thusly:

Hallowe’en isn’t until the end of the month – but this spooky cloud formation made for a ghostly sight in the skies above Bristol this week.

Nola Hersey spotted the bizarre visage while rambling in a park in Clifton Downs. She was so taken by the sight that she snapped a shot on her iPhone.

She said: ‘We had been out for a walk and it was a lovely sunset so I stopped to take a few pictures.

Face in the clouds: This ghostly shape was captured during a sunset over the Clifton Downs, Bristol Face in the clouds: This ghostly shape was captured during a sunset over the Clifton Downs, Bristol

‘Then I noticed a girl’s face very clearly in the cloud. It was amazing, you could see her hair and face very well.

‘It almost looked like she was wearing one of those Victorian wigs, it was very spooky.

‘If you look closely you can also see a hair band around her head. I showed the pictures to my friends and they couldn’t believe it.’

This is a phenomenon known as “matrixing” – the brain trying to make sense of the random placement of objects in a way that is explainable. This looks like a face to us because we need to see order in chaos. This is an excellent example of matrixing, because while this article reports that it’s a girl wearing a Victorian wig, another article citing the same cloud formation says it is the face (and therefore spirit) of the late John McEnroe, the American tennis star.

If someone a few miles away was looking at this same cloud formation at the same time, they would’ve seen something completely different because it’d be from a different angle.

It’s kind of a fun game to see things in other things, and of course, there’s no harm in “seeing” images in things like the clouds, toast (Jesus, anyone?), tree bark, etc. etc. Just don’t believe it’s the ghost of a tennis player wearing his signature headband trying to make contact with you 😉

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