Religious pareidolia quiz

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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:

souplantation.jpg
nunbun-784257.jpg
mary chocolate.jpg
pretzel.jpg
pierogi.jpgshrimp tail.jpg

December 18, 2006 - 3:31am
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