New Jesus pareidolia

June 13, 2018 • 1:30 pm

This speaks for itself (click on screenshot to see article):


This would be Limulus polyphemus, the Atlantic horseshoe crab. Is it also a sign that this species is regarded as a “living fossil”?

My enlargement:

The backstory:

A Florida woman seeking inspiration from a higher power was shell-shocked as she found it — on a horseshoe crab.

Photographer Cathy Rader, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., had recently quit her job to work full time on a picture book about her town. Eager for help, she called out to God and asked for a sign.

The devout Christian then turned to a horseshoe crab shell that was recently given to her and held it up to the light — and that’s when she saw it: an image of Jesus Christ on the bottom.

“It is crazy,” Rader told “I was trying to find funding for my book and asked God for help and he is always saying, ‘Wait on me.'”

At first, she didn’t believe it and started Googling for images of the top of a horseshoe crab shell. She found hers looked totally different.

When she showed it to her friends, many agreed it looked like Christ. Others did not.

“It doesn’t look like him to every person, but when you hold it to the light, it comes through,” she said.

She said she is “absolutely” taking it as a sign from above.

Rader received the shell on May 4 and made the discovery a short time later. She said she wanted to keep the news of the image to herself at first, but then shared it with a local news station, which helped her crab shell go viral.

The shell is now on display at a local library in the town, where it’s protected by a glass case and security.

“Not everyone is going to see Christ and that is totally fine,” she said, adding, “It is something for me.”

But will she get funding?

There’s also a link to her book, but it says “unsafe” when you click on it. I think it’s fine, though.

Try this one, too. There’s a video! But this Jesus looks a bit, well, unsavory.



82 thoughts on “New Jesus pareidolia

    1. Absolutely! Nothing tops the accuracy of the image on the dog’s butt. The fur at the top end of the dog’s rump shades it’s darker tissue in such a way it has to be Jeebus.

        1. THIS MEANS WAR! Which is a religious thing to do. A war over an important religious relic – a horseshoe crab shell.

        1. It is most certainly Zappa. A horseshoe crab is exactly the sort of weird place that Frank would be pleased to turn up again in.

          1. And he would be pleased to learn some religious nuts mistook him for Jesus. And then he would write a song about it.

  1. When she showed it to her friends, many agreed it looked like Christ.

    It’s notable that the gospels make no attempt at a physical description of Jesus (which is one argument that Jesus was not a real person, but a fiction invented for theological reasons).

    Our idea of what Jesus “looks like” comes from what was fashionable in the Italian Renaissance, and the art of that time, which our Western depictions of Jesus are based on.

    1. I hate to split hairs but horseshoe crabs aren’t technically shellfish, as I understand it.

      As for what’s kosher, though, I wouldn’t have a clue.


      1. According to Leviticus 11:10-11, anything that lives in the water and does not have fins and scales is “detestable” and must not be eaten. Shellfish or not, horseshoe crabs ain’t kosher.

        1. I thought it might be something like that.

          Actually, I find horseshoe crabs (and octopi and real crabs) fascinating and not ‘detestable’ at all, though personally I would never eat them. (There’s an implication in that Leviticus verse that desirability of an animal equates to edibility, which I would utterly reject).


  2. Pareidolia was the trigger for me to stop believing in God.

    At about 14, I went for “confirmation” – ie becoming a full member of the Church of England. This involved a weekend “on retreat” – residential, where about 20 of you listen to lectures, talk in groups etc. about God, the church and so on.

    A lecturer put up a slide of a snow field from above (probably with enhanced contrast), and asked “what do you see?” I thought “a man with a beard”, and everyone else chorused “Jesus!” I thought “that’s a bit of a creepy automatic response – no one knows what he looked like”, and that was when I started thinking about indoctrination, groupthink, standards of evidence and so on.

    1. Isn’t it the case that religious people are those lacking critical thinking skills? From the start I didn’t buy religion because there were so many logical problems with it. Many people seem unable to do this. It must also be how Republicans arise.

  3. Isn’t it bordering on blasphemy to suggest that the creator of the universe only reveals himself in such obscure and minute ways?
    Surely if you can poof entire galaxies into existence it would be a breeze to burn your visage on Mount Rushmore or on the surface of the moon for all to see.
    Yahweh, the God of small things.

  4. I’m not seeing anything remotely like Jesus. If I were determined to see some sort of humanoid-ish image there I’d say it was a hybrid of a classic Alien Grey with a squished head and a Predator.

    1. By the way, some republicans are starting to call their party a cult. And news flash, Michael Cohen might be getting ready to flip.

  5. It’s amazing. Jesus refuses to show up for a little child who suffers from leukemia and dies despite tearful prayers of desperation by devout loved ones, but he then appears to a woman on a horseshoe crab who’s trying to sell a book. All I can say is, “Our God is an awesome God!”

    1. Yikes: “a horseshoe crab who’s trying to sell a book”? An awesome God indeed; and another miracle – praise the ceiling cat!

      1. Snakes and donkeys can talk, per the Good Book, so what’s so outlandish about a crab writing a book? You just have to have faith.

      2. As general knowledge increases the gods are invariably forced to move ever farther away and their miracles get sillier and quite trivial (see below link for a correlation).

        Years ago the largest newspaper in this state (the publisher at the time was an incurable catholic) ran a multi-page spread of Jesus appearing in the wood grain of a hospital door. Another skeptic and I both saw an obvious fully suited astronaut, but that was apparently nothing compared to seeing a totally fictional image.

  6. We don’t have any photos of Jesus, we do of Rasputin — I’d suggest she check that resemblance!

  7. What is wrong with that woman?

    Anyone can clearly see that looks like Tommy Chong!

    Pass the doobie!

  8. Amazing how all these million of sheep truly believe that this European Renaissance Style of Jesus is the real deal. Come on people, Jesus would look like Yasser Arafat.

          1. Damn! He got me!

            I should have known better. That Elvis is always playing tricks. Or is it Jesus pretending to be Elvis in disguise? That would be the ultimate Jesus sighting. Only the most devout could find him.

            It’s like Where’s Waldo for adults.

          2. 🙂

            I’d expect no less chicanery from the god that did things like hiding fossils in the earth to trick his highest creations into sending themselves to hell.

  9. This reminds me of the preponderance of faces on the back Heikegani crabs in Japan, used by Carl Sagan to illustrate an example of unintentional artificial selection, although that theory appears not to have weathered too well. (It would have made more sense that the fisherman threw back the crabs with faces if otherwise they’d be picked for food, but apparently, that wasn’t the case (and the facial features actually have a structural purpose behind them as sites where internal muscles attach.

  10. What really bugs me is that nobody can claim to know what Jesus looked like, not even those who believe everything in the Bible. They can only know how medieval artists imagined him.

    1. The problem with your problem is that you are applying logic and rational reasoning to the issue. That kind of stuff has no effect on believers determined to believe.

  11. The evolution of the horseshoe crab has, after 450 million years finally reached it’s zenith! As living avatars of the deity, we will all soon bow down to them. Now it is no mystery why these beings were preserved over eons of time while most others went extinct. What more proof of the grand design do we need? 😛

    1. As the animal has been around a lot longer than modern anatomical humans, some 449.5 million years…leaves us in a conundrum, evolution unceremoniously dispatching religion to the history books, all the while the evolution of a ancient creature finds jesus!
      having blue blood doesn’t make you special,
      unusual and special yes, evolution! never ceases to make you “wonder”.
      Like “your” avatar by the way.

  12. It is obviously a cross between The Lone Ranger and Rasputin. After all the Lone Ranger “arose” 3 days after being left for dead and Rasputin “arose” 3 days after being poisoned, stabbed, shot and drowned but he just wouldn’t die. (Well he did each time but “arose” again each time) Now who else might it be who had several comebacks, Frank Sinatra? John Travolta? Richard Pryor?

  13. Jesus lives! On the bottom of a horseshoe crab.


    P.S. I rather like horseshoe crabs. Sorta engagingly ugly funky things. And their arses are divine 😉

  14. That’s not Jesus. That’s clearly Rubeus Hagrid of the harry Potter books.

    Actually, since no one knows what Jesus looked like and the number of different portrayals are myriad, all you can say is that the image looks like the painting, not the subject of the painting.

    And isn’t this another case of “looking for Jesus in all of the wrong places?” Isn’t she supposed to look for him in her heart? Is great puzzlement.

  15. “an image of Jesus Christ on the bottom.” – isn’t that the top of the shell? I think we’d see a bunch of legs if that was a view of the bottom of the crab, but I’m no expert on horseshoe crabs.

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