I couldn’t help but notice this headline on the Drudge Report today:
Here is the actual satellite image of Hurricane #Matthew, as Tweeted by The Weather Channel’s Stu Ostro:
This is a classic case of the human propensity to see faces in things where there aren’t any. For example, the famous “face on Mars”
Above: A 1976 Viking 1 photograph of the Face on Mars. Click here for a 2001 photo from Mars Global Surveyor that reveals the true appearance of the Face.
It has long since been explained as little more than light and shadow: http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast24may_1/
It is called Pareidolia
Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (an image or a sound) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern of something where none actually exists. Common examples are perceived images of animals, faces, or objects in cloud formations, the man in the moon, the moon rabbit, and hidden messages within recorded music played in reverse or at higher- or lower-than-normal speeds. – Wikipedia
This is akin to the need for humans to find patterns in data to support beliefs where there aren’t any, it is called Apophenia
This is something we see often in the climate debate. For example, while a nearly 4000 day long major hurricane drought is in progress, eco-activist newspapers are already trying to blame Hurricane Matthew on global warming/climate change.
Color me about as impressed as I am about the face on Mars.