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Stunning face of 'Neptune' appears in the waves during recent storm

The image was captured by BBC photographer Jeff Overs in Newhaven on Tuesday.

Stunning face of 'Neptune' appears in the waves during recent storm
Cover Image Source: Twitter/BBC News (UK)

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).



"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.



"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."



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.

















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