Best (worst) tabloid story of the week – 12/05/15

MailOnline: Incredible moment baby shocks his parents by saying ‘hello’ at just SEVEN WEEKS old

According to the MailOnline, a baby was filmed saying hello to his parents (video below). While undeniably cute, this isn’t a genius child, mastering language at 7 weeks. It is, however, an example of pareidolia. Pareidolia is the effect of seeing patterns in random things, and is a fascinating quirk of the brain. Well known examples are seeing a face on the moon or hearing words in a song played backwards.

Pareidolia is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation to help us spot enemies or predators in low visibility conditions. The advantages to our ancestors of being able to quickly identify potential danger (whether real or not) are obvious. In a world where this is no longer important though, pareidolia has resulted in us thinking we see a face on Mars, or hearing a baby say hello amid its random gurgling.

It’s obvious to anyone watching the video that this is just a baby, making baby sounds. With lots of news outlets reporting this (including the Daily Mail, The Mirror, CBS and ABC), apparently that’s enough to make it into the tabloids. Although, considering that the video has so many views, it isn’t very surprising!

 

<Edit: Even The Guardian has this story now! It appears that cute babies are enough to make good papers too.>

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