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📸 by @husein_latif

Himalayan griffon vulture showing off its fake eyes.

In order to look larger and more intimidating to would-be predators, himalayan griffon vultures have adapted a set of false eyes which are actually just its plumage arranged in a certain way, with what looks like bald spots making up the “eyes” and the bridge of the false nose that is actually the neck.

Deception in animals is not uncommon, tigers have spots on their ears that mimic eyes on the back of their heads. Some species of moths have “eye spots” on their wings that are meant to deter predators from attacking them by looking like something larger.

There are many examples, but this photo is one of the few that actually tricked me for a second, and thanks to phenomenon like pareidolia I’m not expecting this to be the last time I’m am fooled.

If you are not familiar with pareidolia, it is defined as the tendency to interpret a vague stimulus as something known to the observer, such as interpreting marks on Mars as canals, seeing shapes in clouds, or hearing hidden messages in music.



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