Google Moon is a wonderful thing, but like pretty much anything it’s not fool-proof. And the proof is in the fooling, with thousands of people convinced that one user, Wowforreeel's video shows an image of an alien on the lunar surface.
It's already had three million views.
The image is a clear case of pareidolia, our tendency to see faces or other recognizable shapes in random formations. It is thought we acquired this trait because it was much better for our ancestors to see a hungry lion in the bushes that wasn't there, than to miss one that was.
We’ve been here before. In 1976 Viking photographed a rock on Mars that looked like a human face from the exact angle, and with the sun in the position, from which it was taken. In 2001, Mars Global Surveyor provided another image of the same rock.
Nevertheless, some people are determined not to learn from experience, and have got very excited about the possibility that the dark patch is actually an abandoned alien, or possibly a relic left behind by a departed race. However, while everyone agrees the image is striking, there seems to be some debate about what it is.
Wowforreeel thinks it looks like a man walking next to his shadow. Others see a slim alien. Tom Rose in the Examiner thinks it resembles the Colossus of Rhodes – even though that giant statue had its legs apart.
In addition to the tricks our own brains play on us, the power of suggestion is a powerful thing.
The extraordinary thing is that humanity is very used to looking up at the moon and seeing either a face or a rabbit, depending on your culture, yet some people can’t seem to draw the obvious conclusion. To those fanning the flames of this nonsense all we can say is:
H/T Huffington Post