Monday, August 10, 2009

Spot the giant shrimp

Grace sent me this. I fail at this type of contest. As usual, I could not see any of the things in the picture. Maybe the pen was in the way (I would have thought a conspiracy theorist would have a more professional pointing device than a pen; but then, perhaps he wanted to give an air of informality). See if you can do better.


Tim said...

Forgive me for also missing the point, but I thought those were some rather well taken photos.
I didn't realize I was to find a) a dog playing cards, or b) Wally?
What am I supposed to be looking for???

Peter in Dundee said...

At 30s in at about 1o'clock centre there is a crater with markings that with that shadowing looks like an almost upside down skull. Mind you on a surface with circular marks inside circular marks there is odds on to find something that looks like a face to us humans. A paper plate with two circles and an upcurled line on it holds the attention of newbord babies since it looks like a smiling face.

The guy with the pen has absolutely no idea about light shadowing in a cratered landscape and how to read it in terms of what is concave and what is convex. I'm not an astronomer but I have interpreted frozen sheared and metal shadowed scanning electron microscope pictures that have the same problem of interpretation.

I don't see the 'giant shrimp' for one thing there is nothing linear to indicate legs or antennae. A testament to the pattern recognition false positive feature of the human visual cortex. Better to see a tiger in the waving grass that is not there and be alert than to miss one that is. Such is the basis of much conspiracy theories.

I once crossed horns with a guy who thought rocks were artificial and you could see numbers in them. He linked to a picture of a standing stone on the West Coast of Scotland and started on about the numbers he could see in the rock. It was when he said 'just below the yellow spot' that i realised he wasn't even seeing the rock. Yellow in Scottish granite? no, any rock exposed to the elements gets covered in lichens, mosses and algae. He was reading the lichens which also identified the yellow spot. None of the surface he was 'reading' would have been bare rock. He slunk away after everyone in the forum chanted 'lichen, lichen, lichen' at him.

We couldn't see the numbers even 99% of the time. Illusion all the way through.

Lyndon said...

Speaking of pattern recognition, if that apple had a map of New Zealand, it was NZ after the SW of both island had been engulfed by a red ocean, which I would have though would lead to a more sober reaction than it got.

(Word verification - quityp: what a bunyip does when it resigns)

Grace Dalley said...

I think there are a lot of people who want to see alien castles (they're such a staple of sf and fantasy book covers!), and images at this resolution allow fantasy interpretations.

Personally I think Iapetus is quite bizarre and amazing enough without alien castles. Have a look at this footage, also from Cassini:

Anonymous said...


or maybe i'm reading too much into it.

damn that video was funny.

Samuel said...

Strike their weak point for massive damage.