Dana and I often experience pareidolia whilst on walks in nature, and sometimes also in more urban environments. We tend to treat such encounters as encounters with spirits because it can be more fun. Often or not, if we say we met some trolls in the forest, we mean we encountered some pareidolia of trolls. Creative games like this are healthy and therapeutic, even in adults.
I recently made the above drawing from a photo of a troll @dana-varahi and I met a few years back near the famous Roslin Chapel. Or should I say trolls? There are clearly multiple trolls in this picture! Are the smaller trolls children or family? Or are they different species of troll that live in symbiosis? Some even look more like gnomes and another like some kind of winged sprite or faery. They all seem to be getting along in any case!
Here is the photo of the trolls as we saw them in the woods:
As you can see, I made some stylistic choices about which trolls to include in my drawing, it is possible to look at this same photo and come up with a different set of trolls. Pareidolia is like that. It is like two people looking at the same cloud and seeing different forms. There is an element of Rorschach inkblot test in pareidolia.
Would love to see what other artists make of this photo if they were inclined to have a go!