The latest sighting of the Virgin Mary is in a piece of wood in Rhode Island. Here’s the video report from television station WLNE, via ABC News. Here’s a screen capture of this piece of wood:

Virgin Mary seen in a piece of wood in Rhode Island

The guy who owns it knows must be real, because when he first noticed it, he had “a warm shiver through [his] body.” Yep, that warm shiver will prove it every time!

Folks, there’s nothing supernatural going on here. This is a well-known psychological phenomenon known as pareidolia. It is caused by the brain’s innate tendency to discern patterns from things, regardless of whether or not there is anything behind it.

In other words, seeing the Virgin Mary in this piece of wood, or in the discoloration of a window, is merely an artifact of neuropsychology. The appearance is only that — an appearance — and has no veracity.

Pareidolia explains all Virgin Mary sightings, as it does the “face on Mars,” Elvis sightings, and many other phenomena.

There is no “magic” here, no divine power manifest as a blog of stuff on a piece of wood … just plain old run-of-the-mill human nature. Nothing more.

Update: The Virgin Mary has returned to the nation’s smallest state, and now graces the surface of a copper cross atop a church in North Providence. Just so you know.

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  • PWM

    Let's not be so critical. My friend says he'll open his house to pilgrims after taking his blind dog to be cured. Your negativity could ruin a good retirement business.