Ancient Tree and Pareidolia

December 09, 2019

ALBERO PENSANTE e il cigno logo

Photographer: Marcella Giulia Pace
Summary Authors: Marcella Giulia Pace; Jim Foster

Pareidolia is the tendency to interpret the appearance of an observed object as something else, often a figure or object known to the observer. Seeing a swan or a cross in the constellation of Cygnus is such an example – find it above and to the left of the ancient olive tree. Perceiving a human figure in the trunk of this exceptional olive tree, found in Ginosa, Apulia, Italy, is another example. People in this community claim that it’s the elder of a grouping of old olive trees. It’s thought to be at least 1,000 years old. In an attempt to protect it, residents are very careful about giving out its exact location to visitors.

In all of its years, this olive tree has experienced countless changes in its surroundings. Moreover, since it was first planted, the position of the pole star (Polaris) has moved a few degrees and even the position of the equinoxes with respect to the path of the ecliptic has slightly shifted. Photo taken on October 29, 2019

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON D7100; Software: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 (Macintosh); Exposure Time: 25.000s; Aperture: ƒ/2.8; ISO equivalent: 800; Focal Length (35mm): 16.