10 Times Jesus and Mary Have Appeared in Nature


You may not know the word "pareidolia," but you definitely know what it is — it's the thing that makes you think you see identifiable objects in otherwise random patterns.

In other words, that rubber duck you saw in the clouds yesterday? The pirate captain I’m convinced is in the swirl of pattern in my shower tile? Jesus in a tree stump? All pareidolia—though you might have a hard time convincing some people that the savior’s appearance in a rotten log is anything but a sign from above. Pareidolia or miracle? We’ll let you be the judge of these 10 examples.

1. Jesus after a Colombian rockslide

The Telegraph

In March, a landslide cleared the side of a hill in the Putumayo province of Colombia—and some people think it left more than just dirt and rubble in its wake. If you want to witness the miracle in person, be prepared to pay: Some locals are charging visitors to see it.

2 Jesus in a tree stump in Belfast

What started out as regular maintenance at Belfast City Cemetery became a religious experience when the cemetery grounds crew noticed this dark pattern in the stump of a tree they had cut down.

3. Jesus in the Cone Nebula


Some people believe they see Jesus in this shot of the Cone Nebula taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA, on the other hand, describes it as "resembling a nightmarish beast rearing its head from the crimson sea." Not seeing it, either? Here you go.

4. Jesus in a rock in Ghana

In 2004, thousands of people flocked to a Catholic church in Ghana to gaze upon an image embedded in the pattern of the marble inside a grotto on the grounds. In fact, so many believers showed up to pray at or be healed by the image of Jesus that officials feared a stampede and called in police to control the situation.

5. Mary in a pebble in New Zealand

Kirk Hargreaves // The Press

In 2007, New Zealander Lisa-Marie Corlet sold this pebble emblazoned with the image of Mary for $50,000. Unfortunately, the online bid was a hoax, and Corlet was forced to relist it. "I won't take less than $50,000 for it," she said. "If someone is willing to pay $28,000 for a piece of toast, I'm sure someone out there would pay at least that for rock."

6. Mary in a tree


A resident of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., discovered this image of the Virgin Mary in 2012—across the street from a church, no less. "I could kind of see the resemblance," one eyewitness said.

7. Mary on a tree


For a depiction that's a little bit bigger, head to Polk City, Iowa, where a six-foot-tall Mary adorns a tree near a bridge.

8. Mary in a bush

In 1953, three Catholic school girls from Philadelphia were on their way home from class when they saw a vision of Mary coming from a bush in a nearby park. Their claim was enough to bring 70,000 people to the site, many claiming they felt the bush had healing powers. Some even smelled roses emanating from the plant. (It wasn't a rose bush.)

9. Mary on the face of a cliff

Known as "Madonna of the rock," this image began to take shape in the cliffs near Casaletto Spartano in Italy last year when a piece of rock broke away during a landslide.

10. Mary in a splatter of bird poop

It's not quite as elegant as the other examples on the list, but it's definitely nature. In 2009, a family in Texas noticed that a certain splatter on the windshield of the family truck looked a lot like the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We'll let you be the judge.

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Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked

Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"


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