clock menu more-arrow no yes

Why did a woman see Donald Trump in her butter? Here's a scientific explanation.

A Missouri woman opened a container of butter and saw what would likely be an unpleasant surprise for most people: Donald Trump's face.

That's right. According to KSDK's Jordan Palmer, Jan Castellano of Wildwood, Missouri, thinks she saw Donald Trump's face in her butter. She provided a picture to the news station as proof:

Donald Trump's face in butter? Maybe.

Jan Castellano, via KSDK

This is obviously odd. But there is a good scientific explanation for why Castellano was so quick to connect the obscure image to the eccentric billionaire.

Pareidolia, explained

Pareidolia, the process by which the mind perceives a familiar pattern where there is none, explains why the human brain sees faces where there are none. As the video above by Vox's Christophe Haubursin explains, the human brain is constantly trying to make sense of objects around us, which can lead it to find patterns where there really aren't any. This helps explain why, for example, so many people report seeing Jesus and the Virgin Mary in their food: They are very familiar, important figures to devout Christians, so they're probably the figures most likely to come to mind when a religious person sees what looks like a bearded man or a beautiful woman in a piece of toast.

The same phenomenon explains why a Missouri woman saw a face — and Donald Trump's, at that — in her butter. With his celebrity status and presidential campaign dominating headlines, Trump is one of the most recognizable faces in America today. So Castellano's brain was probably wired to think of Trump more than other faces, and, as a result, the billionaire showed up in her butter.