Religious pareidolia quiz

Religious pareidolia: the perception of religious-icon-shaped patterns where none were intended. Over the years, everyone from the Virgin Mary to Mother Teresa have been spotted in impromptu appearances on food items, freeway underpasses and almost anywhere you can imagine, often drawing thousands -- and sometimes hundreds of thousands -- of faithful pilgrims. So here's the challenge: which of the following examples of religious pareidolia were actually reported (and in many cases, celebrated) and which are made up?

A. The Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Ten years ago, a Florida woman was having her lunch when she suddenly discovered the image of Mary staring back at her, emblazoned on the grilled bread of her cheese sandwich. She wrapped the iconic sandwich in cellophane and cotton, and since then it has shown no signs of mold or crumbling, which the woman describes as "yet another miracle."

B. The Virgin Mary Piece of Firewood
About to ignite the wood in her fireplace, a Wisconsin woman (named ... wait for it ... Faith) realized that one of the logs had the Virgin's image on it. Naturally, she pulled it out of the hearth.

C. The Jesus Tortilla
A New Mexican woman found the image made with skillet burns on a tortilla she had prepared. She built a shrine to house the tortilla, which was visited by thousands of pilgrims after a priest reluctantly blessed it.

D. The Virgin Mary Panel of Wood
Diners at a California Souplantation restaurant noticed a strange pattern in the wood paneling above one of the booths: that of the Virgin Mary.

E. The Mother Teresa Cinnamon Bun, AKA "The NunBun"
A Tennessee coffeeshop turned a funny-shaped bun into an overnight sensation and a cottage industry, selling "NunBun" teeshirts, coffee mugs and other paraphernalia -- until a peeved Mother Teresa asked them to cease and desist.

F. Mary and the Chocolate Factory
Workers at a California chocolate factory were stunned to discover that a two-inch column of chocolate drippings which had accumulated under a leaky vat seemed to resemble the mother of God.

G. Mary Holding the Baby Jesus Pretzel
Need we explain further?

H. Jesus Pierogi
Not unlike the Jesus tortilla, but instead of building a shrine to the pierogi, its owners tossed it in the freezer and then tried to sell it on eBay.

I. Jesus Shrimp Tail
A California man believed he saw Jesus Christ's face on a shrimp tail. He said that when he ate his first shrimp, he had disregarded its tail, but then looked at it again and saw the face of Jesus. The man believed it was a sign, as he was going through a nasty divorce.

Answers after the jump!

A: True.
B: True.
C: True.
D: True.
E: True.
F: True.
G: True.
H: True.
I: True.

Yes, they're all true. And we've got the pictures to prove it:

mary chocolate.jpg
pierogi.jpgshrimp tail.jpg

The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas

When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, reports, you can own the Long Island country home featured in the 1986 comedy The Money Pit—no renovations required.

For the uninitiated, the film features Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as hapless first-time homeowners who purchase a rundown mansion for cheap. The savings they score end up being paltry compared to the debt they incur while trying to fix up the house.

The Money Pit featured exterior shots of "Northway," an eight-bedroom estate located in the village of Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. Luckily for potential buyers, its insides are far nicer than the fictional ones portrayed in the movie, thanks in part to extensive renovations performed by the property’s current owners.

Amenities include a giant master suite with a French-style dressing room, eight fireplaces, a "wine wall," and a heated outdoor saltwater pool. Check out some photos below, or view the entire listing here.

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”



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