Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon by which many of us see pictures or images within random patterns. These patterns include woodgrain, clouds in the sky, burn marks and oily deposits of surfaces. Psychologists tell us that we are most likely to identify images with which we are familiar. Thus all of us tend to see human faces. Animal lovers will frequently see animals. Religious Christians will often see images of Jesus or Mary.
The Shroud of Turin is a piece of cloth with a very noisy background. People have identified coins, flowers, teeth, a pigtail, nails and other symbols of the passion story including dice. most notably in the news or stories of people seeing Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek and Latin lettering.
The photograph on the right is a famous example of pareidolia. Most people see a man holding a big head. It became something of an urban legend that it was an image of Jesus miraculously left on the film. But if you look carefully, you see that the man's forehead is a white bonnet on a baby. The eye of the man is the baby's face. The nose is an arm and the cheek is the baby's gown. The man is holding a baby, not a head. If you don't see the baby in this pareidolia picture then click here.
Examples of Pareidolia: