Misperception of an ambiguous stimulus as something specific.
Seeing faces in clouds is an example of pareidolia.
by Loadmaster July 21, 2004
Pareidolia is the phenomena of seeing faces/figures/forms in patterns; as opposed to where one normally sees faces/figures/forms (on animals including people/landscapes etc.)
Pareidolia is seeing what appears to the individual to be a representation of a face, figure, or form in the clouds, wood grain, marble, smoke, shadows, or any non-homogeneous area. It can also be an auditory phenomenon as in hearing white noise or a record played backward that sounds to the individual like words or a melody that isn't actually there.
by fred ressler September 15, 2006