Pareidolia refers to the tendency to see significant patterns in vague or random stimuli where none actually exists, or when random images or sounds are perceived as significant.

Examples of pareidolia include:

  • The 'Man in the Moon'.
  • The 'Face on Mars'. A mesa in the Cydonia region of planet Mars, resembling a human face staring into space.
  • Allegations of backmasking or backward masking in popular music. The most common is finding so-called 'Satanic' messages in songs.
  • Auditory pareidolia, such as hearing a descending chromatic four-chord progression on a guitar, and assuming it is Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven'.

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