The image was captured by BBC photographer Jeff Overs in Newhaven on Tuesday.
Neptune, the Roman god of water, apparently popped in for a visit on the East Sussex coast during a storm earlier this week. A stunning photograph captured by BBC photographer Jeff Overs in Newhaven on Tuesday shows waves crashing over the harbor wall take on the form of what appears to be a bearded face. The incredible image is now making waves on the internet as many are convinced the face bears a striking resemblance to the diety. Overs revealed that he took the picture at about 09:00 BST at high tide in winds of more than 50mph (80km/h).
Can you see him? 😲https://t.co/Dp15qVMYuK— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) July 8, 2021
"It's become a popular location for photographers because the sea 'boils' in high wind against the sea wall," he said. "The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like (pareidolic) ghoulish faces. It's a straight shot and I haven't manipulated the image at all." As impressive as the image is, as a recent study from the University of Sydney School of Psychology explains, sightings like this are examples of face pareidolia, where our brains turn an otherwise random pattern into something familiar to us: a face.
Face pareidolia, a phenomenon where the brain is tricked into seeing human faces in inanimate objects, may occur as a result of the brain processing the perceived facial expression in the same sequential way as a human face.#neuroscience #sciencehttps://t.co/WJdGeMPx3h— Neuroscience News (@NeuroscienceNew) July 8, 2021
"From an evolutionary perspective, it seems that the benefit of never missing a face far outweighs the errors where inanimate objects are seen as faces," said Professor David Alais, lead author of the study. "There is a great benefit in detecting faces quickly, but the system plays 'fast and loose' by applying a crude template of two eyes over a nose and mouth. Lots of things can satisfy that template and thus trigger a face detection response. We know these objects are not truly faces, yet the perception of a face lingers. We end up with something strange: a parallel experience that it is both a compelling face and an object. Two things at once. The first impression of a face does not give way to the second perception of an object."
I got a sea lion at Dovercourt Essex pic.twitter.com/2cgNgnPISb— steven collis 📸 (@tintininkent) July 8, 2021
On social media, people had a lot of thoughts about Neptune's appearance. "First corona, now the Old Gods are returning. What’s next?" tweeted @XBLAion, while many others pointed out that the god of water was missing his trident.
And then a sea monster at Dovercourt Essex pic.twitter.com/uGEzXgKTSa— steven collis 📸 (@tintininkent) July 8, 2021
pareidolia who? This is clearly a mist malfunction and we're accidentally seeing Poseidon after he's had a nice chat with his son Percy. https://t.co/ZayMpOWJfu— Mis is editing ✨ (@MisWrites19) July 8, 2021
I saw him at Lyme Regis a couple of years ago. He's just lonely, can't keep away from crowds. pic.twitter.com/PITkunj60j— Mr Magee (@MrMagee12) July 8, 2021
It Is David Bellamy.— David (@Davidnonumbers) July 8, 2021
Where is the trident? No self respecting god of the sea would be without one. Can't use the excuse its in the wash.— ET The Alienated Alien. (@LesTodd10) July 8, 2021
I can see him pic.twitter.com/LAcdIN8j2S— Kenneth One Of Six Variant (@Kennydenney) July 8, 2021
Hydro Man is back and ready to fight Spider-Man again. pic.twitter.com/i1qtbiMlun— Link Voximilian (@LinkVoximilian) July 8, 2021
This is giving me an “end of times” vibe— talkie (@Talkie86) July 9, 2021
Dude looks like he was sleeping and was awoken abruptly after he hit his head against the seawall 🤣— Rahul Rao (@rahulrao1871) July 8, 2021