Jesus under the flat iron? Mary on a pancake, or hard-boiled egg (top; from the Slashfood blog)? These are just some of the things at home where the images of Jesus and Mary have appeared. To science, these are simply simulacrums or image patterns that the brain interprets as something familiar. Most reports of simulacra are of universal images of religious icons.
The image of Jesus under the flat iron (below) was discovered by Mary Jo Cody at her home in Massachusetts. She had recently separated from her husband and had been going through turbulent times when she noticed the image of Jesus Christ. She says it has reassured her that "life is going to be good." Cody said she will keep the iron with the image and buy new one.
An Arizona woman on the other hand found peace and comfort after seeing the image of the Virgin Mary on one of the pancakes (top) she was cooking for Thanksgiving (Nov. 26, 2009). Bianca Lopez was cooking Batter Blaster pancakes when she saw what looked like the image of Mary on one of the last batch. She says, she thinks it's God's way of saying that the Holidays aren't just about presents and that it is more about spending time with family and friends and to not forget about Him (Jesus), and that "he's always there watching over us and taking care of us. Lopez said she will keep the pancake in a freezer until she decides what to do with it.
Simulacra of Jesus and Mary are popping up everywhere. It's likely the result of a deep need for people, specifically Christians from different groups, to be connected to the spiritual during trying times. They images become foci for them to express their spirituality and devotion to God.
See more images of "sacred" simulacra here
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