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Found 23 results

  1. nerdsforprez

    Pareidolia and neurology

    Hey everyone – I’ve been looking through the site and found a high number of postings related to pareidolia – for obvious reasons. I found this interesting given that it is something I frequently deal with in my career, just in different ways. Pareidolia arises from a complex mix of psychological but also neurological factors. I won’t go into details of the psychological factors (there are many, perhaps a different post?) but a cursory mention of top-down-processing and suggestibility factors is warranted. Although admittedly this falls within perhaps a “softer science” there are reliable and valid personality inventories and questionnaires that objectively measure these factors to some degree. But perhaps more importantly, in the spirit of consilience, there is harder, more biologically driven evidence that helps explain the phenomenon of pareidolia. I help run a neuropsychology evaluation service in a busy metropolitan hospital. One of the more common patient demographics we see is the elderly, typically with concerns of some form of dementia. In one form of dementia, dementia from what is called Lewy-body disease (LBD- abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain) a hallmark sign is visual hallucinations (VH), usually well-formed, with colors and even frequently three dimensional. Although VH are frequent in many psychological disorders, in this form of dementia they are notable because they reflect not a psychological demise as much as neurological (biology) one. Such happen in individuals with no psychological history whatsoever (prior to the onset of their disease), and are correlated with LBD in visual cortex and other areas of the brain used for processing of visual information (found in post-mortem studies). In fact, kinda a novel but brilliant advance in the field are pareidolia tests that try to illicit VH from varying degrees of neural stimuli. Perhaps the most well-known is called the noise pareidolia test https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154713 This test is frequently used to evaluate for dementia thought to be caused by LBD. Really interesting test. I will not publish it here, but it can be found (public domain). Essentially what it is - is a series of pictures with varying degrees of unstructured, neutral visual information pitted against pictures with structured, non-neutral information (identifiable images). Respondents have to not only correctly identify the real images but also not be duped by the foils. Studies have been fairly consistent in that patients with LBD correctly identify the real images on par with others, but incorrectly “see” something in the foils. As mentioned, such findings correlate with LBD is visual and associated brain cortices. Functional neuroimaging studies also show the same response pattern on noise pareidolia tests is correlated with hypoperfusion (in living subjects) in the same cortical areas. As a reminder, these findings occur in individuals with no known mental health history prior to the onset of their disease. No, I don’t post any of this to suggest that those who fall prey to pareidolia effects (all of us fall for it at some point) have brain damage. So, lets avoid any of those comments (in fact, after an intense day of shark tooth hunting I figurately see them EVERYWHERE). But, I do think it is an interesting analog to what has been discussed already, and perhaps can add to the pareidolia literature and musings that have already been posted. As all good scientists do, we shouldn’t be afraid or deny our biases; whether they be psychological or even neurological, but rather be open to embracing them and learning about them. This allows for a degree of predictability and pattern-recognition, which ultimately will help us from being prey to the vicious jaws of pareidolia effects. TB
  2. Two factors were at work here. 1) This is just about the most complete specimen of Isorthoceras sociale that I've ever found. 2) I've been doing some research on contemporary squid chromatophores and photophores. So, I was pre-disposed to think I'd discovered some remarkable soft tissue preservation and was all set to announce the evidence of chromatophores in the Ordovician. And then I learned about bryozoan encrustation. Still pretty cool, though.
  3. MrR

    Jalama "Rossil"

    Greetings all. In the spirit of tricks and treats today, I figured I'd post a slightly disingenuous ID question. Or maybe someone will surprise me and tell me that it actually is a fossil, rather than a "rossil". I'm not holding my breath. I was camping at Jalama last week, when it was pushing 90 degrees on the beach. It was a pleasant couple of days but the weather made it less so than one would expect. I did end up breaking up a few cleavable pieces that came from a fresh fall at the back of the closest cliff to the South side of the campground, but found nothing. And it was too darn hot, and my old back was protesting the whole thing, so I gave up on breaking rocks in pursuit of Jalama's famous "exploded fish" (That was for you, Doren. RIP, buddy.). Instead I just took a little walk on the sand with my partner. Aside from the joy of the Jalama beach hopscotch, i.e. skipping around and over gobs of tar seeps, we were just looking for interesting rocks, shells, etc. One thing I found was a thing I'll call a "Rossil". (I'd be surprised if the term hasn't been used before.), I'm 99.99% sure that it is indeed a "Rossil". I just don't know what it's from. Anyway, it sure looks a lot like a vert, perhaps caudal, but it is very flat on one side. Of course that could be from the absolute geological crushing it has been taking through eons as it "rossilized". So, what do the experts think of my rossil? Keep it friendly, folks. Happy Halloween, all.
  4. I have found, what I believe to be a fossilised vertebra, and would like any advice on what species it could be and how old it may be. The item was found along a riverbank. It has a surprising weight for it's size - I can record the exact weight with electronic scales within the next 24 hours. The object appears to be of white bone with a red/iron marrow present through the centre. There are crystals in the recesses which sparkle when the light hits it and when it is wet. The top and bottom of the item are very smooth. The specimen has been washed with warm water and a toothbrush. It ts extremely tactile, a pleasure to hold! I didn't want to put it down until I decided to keep it in a resealable plastic bag. I have some pictures which I will enclose (the sun was setting and so there are long shadows cast - magnify the images for better clarity) - I am a novice photographer! I also have a short video which could be sent via WhatsApp. I have contacted my local museum and left a voice message - the museum closed for refurbishment for 2 years about a week ago!
  5. ChrisSarahRox

    What kind of rock is this?

    Looking for help with this one, any input is welcome. Found in Grant County NM near the Gila National Forest.
  6. I think an extremely rare finding and I look forward to hearing your information. Thanks !
  7. I found this along the Mississippi River at Alton IL, but it was in an area that's been extensively modified by dumping dredged rock and sand out of the barge channel onto the banks, which means it could be anything from any period. I've walked those banks for many years and occasionally found rounded black things with a cellular-looking pattern caused by shrinkage of the outer layer, but they're generally fairly soft and this is hard as, well, rock. Is that all it is, or could it be some kind of fossil? I've never found any kind of fossil there, so I have doubts. Mostly the fossils are from the Ordovician, and miles further north or southwest in different types of formations, but as I say this likely came from dredging in the river so it could have been washed down from anyplace upstream, which covers a lot of territory. So, rock or fossil?
  8. Bugabob

    Opal filled bone (?)

    Here’s a different kind of possible opal fossil from Australia. This was found in Winton, not lightning ridge. See the next post for the story behind it. I hope the opal fossil collectors and experts on here will weigh in with their opinions.
  9. Zenmaster6

    Pareidolia or Mosasaur Bone?

    Im in South Texas, Corpus Christi, which has no Cretaceous or even anything older than late pliocene material. However, architectural landscaping rock comes from the San Antonio Area due to its durability. I mostly check these beds for chert and flint to make arrowheads. One day I found this nodule and I was very interested to know there were fossilized bivalves here from the cretaceous. After more scrounging around I found loads of petrified palm wood and eventually something that caught my eye as bone.
  10. Praefectus

    Ammonites or Pareidolia: ID help

    Hello. A friend of mine was out collecting near Cibolo Creek in Texas and he thinks he found some nautiloids. I'm not sure about that identification. Can I get some opinions on if these are fossils or rocks. Thanks very much.
  11. butchndad

    Crab? Pareidolia? What?

    Like all of us I pick up a lot of maybes/I don’t knows. I took this one home for a better look. With the loupe I think I see something and crab is my best guess. The whole piece is 1.5 inches. I don’t want to believe this is geologic. Your help greatly appreciated.
  12. Offered through the link is one of our occasional interactions with someone who is either trolling TFF (great sport, apparently), or somewhat overwhelmed with runaway pareidolia. Our responses are also typical of how TFF works; presentations of the facts without any mockery or derision. We are here to help anyone seeking answers that are within our sphere of knowledge, but sometimes logic cannot prevail. >LINK<
  13. butchndad

    Big Brook pareidolia

    Picture this; he enters the brook at 7am. The sky is dark and thunderstorms are forecast. The canopy of trees darkens the stream. The water is dark and murky. something catches his eye. He pulls it out of the water and it’s dark and smooth and that shape. It cant be could it? that horn! A Steg? A Trice? for one brief moment time slows and stops and he stares in awe ah pareidolia
  14. FossilNerd

    A Longer and Muddier Stop

    I took a much needed break this morning and went fossil hunting for a couple of hours. I decided that I wanted to go back to the same water eroded hill that I made a quick stop at the other day. It rained last night, so the place was a muddy mess, but I had a good time and it took my mind off of things. It's supposed to rain here for the next 2-3 days. Can't wait to see what else is revealed afterwards. I'll stop in again. Preferably after it dries out for a couple of days. Here are pictures of the hillside that I have been working. The red clay is littered with rocks and fossils that have been weathered and washed out of the hill by runoff. Fragments of the rugose coral Acrocyathus floriformis litter the ground. Thanks to @Jeffrey P for help with the ID! Unless you look 5 feet one way or the other... The next picture was taken 5 feet away from the spot in the above pic. It seems that the fossils were very localized. I made multiple stops at different hills like this in the same area. I found 1 other that had a good amount of fossils in a small section. Most were fossil barren, or had very few. Still, there was plenty to keep me entertained. When I took a gander past the coral fragments, I was able to find a few more gastropods. The biggest thing I had to watch out for was my own pareidolia. The geology of the area can really trick you if you are not careful. There are also more modern evidence of creatures, and some areas where fill rock has been brought in; presumably to help with erosion. Below are a few things I had to look out for... Here are a bunch of eroded limestone fragments mixed in with coral fragments. They can definitely trick the eyes at first glance. Coral/Bryozoan fragments, or water eroded and shaped limestone? Unfortunately, limestone. At first glance I thought I was seeing the internal structure of a coral colony. Maybe a tabulate coral? Nope. Another look alike. A modern gastropod. Once I got home I cleaned the mud off with water and a soft brush. Not a bad haul for a few hours. I took quite a few pieces of coral. Some I will give to my son, some will go in my collection, and maybe, just maybe, some will end up in an auction lot to support the forum (once all this virus stuff blows over). I'm actually sorting through my collection and will hopefully have more to add to the auction pile, but that's a discussion for a different thread. Towards the end of the hunt I was on the lookout for anything branching, or that resembled a coral colony. I was hoping to find a relatively complete coral head, but alas luck was not with me. I was still able to find some nice pieces though. Here are some of the better ones with multiple coralites. A few gastropod steinkerns. This one I really liked. It's a little over a centimeter in height, and still stuck in the matrix. And last, but not least... I always pick up a few geological pieces that catch my eye. My twin is more of a rock hound so I always let him take a look. If he doesn't want them. The "cool rocks" go to my son. If all that fails, I have a "cool rock shelf" that gets the left overs. That's it for now. I had an enjoyable time today that gave me a much needed break from all the happenings in the world. It was nice to dig in the mud and forget my troubles for a few hours.
  15. Miocene_Mason

    Back in Vermont’s Ordovician

    Hello everyone! I found myself in Vermont today, and through much cajoling I convinced my parents to allow a detour to a fossil site a forum member let me know about a year ago. It is from the Crown Point Formation, Ordovician in age. The first time time I was there, about a year ago, I collected a ton of trilobite cross sections. While those are cool, this time I wanted to focus on finding ones worn in a slightly more favorable fashion, and perhaps one worthy of prep. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any worthy of prep, but I did find some decent trilo-bits. Also came home with a Gastropod and a funny piece of pareidolia (450 million year old Mr. Bill?). I didn’t have much space in the car reserved for fossils, so I was sparing in what I picked up. ‘Twas a fun hour or so indeed.
  16. I don't know if this belongs in fossil news, member diversions, the long extinct fossil jokes section or somewhere else, but I found it very nerdy and thought many TFF members would enjoy that as I certainly did. https://www.google.com/amp/s/speakingofgeoscience.org/2017/09/22/geology-is-serious-business-sometimes/amp/
  17. Don't blame the internet for pareidolia; it is in your genes. A head shaped rock that had been transported many kilometers 2.5 million years ago was found in Africa found with human ancestor remains and tools. See this interesting article: https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/first-sculpture-makapansgat-pebble-1269056 I wonder how many pounds of meat this was traded for.
  18. Just saw these listings. A good way to end the week is with some hilarious items...have a great weekend Dinosaur fossil organ: a stomach T-rex head Ceratopsian head Fossilized Skull of GORGONOPS yep GORGONOPS And lastly another skull this one from a Pachycephalosaurid
  19. Occasionally the Great Big Story has some amazing snippets of life that they deftly film and share. They have a knack for storytelling and this yarn about a museum in Japan dedicated to rocks with faces was just too amazing to pass up. To Quote" If you’re ever in Japan, consider a trip to Chineskikan, located two hours outside Tokyo in the city of Chichibu. The peculiar museum is the only one of its kind, dedicated entirely to rocks that look like human faces. Owned and operated by Yoshiko Hayama, Chineskikan is home to some of the most spectacular stones nature has to offer, with rocks that resemble everyone from Elvis Presley to E.T. Following in her father’s footsteps, Hayama is preserving the legacy of “jinmenseki,” continuing the search for rocks that resemble human faces.
  20. I've got an odd thing. This vaguely torus-shaped object came in a ten pound bag of Peace River gravel. The gravel is heavily time-averaged and contains Miocene shark-teeth and Pleistocene mammal teeth. My object certainly doesn't look to be part of any tetrapod's skeleton, and while it could be an invert I've got a feeling that it doesn't have any biological origin at all. I'm pretty sure it's just an oddly-shaped 'leverite,' but it looks enough like a man-made thing to arouse my curiosity. Certainly the central hole has a smooth-bored appearance. It looks for all the world like a bead -- pareidolia, probably. The doings of man don't generally hold much of an interest for me, but given where this came from, it seems like it could hail from that brief time in North American history that provides grist for the mills of paleontology and archeology -- the latest Rancholabrean. Did Clovis (or pre-Clovis, if you perfer) people even make beads? If so, do they look like this? In the pictures below the lines on the grid are 2 mm apart. We're looking at a small object here. I'm probably only fooling myself, but I'm curious. Take a look below:
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