Scientists analyze disturbing image from 9/11 - Tucson News Now

Scientists analyze disturbing image from 9/11

Few can forget the piercing images from Sept. 11, 2001, but some see a double meaning in the photo.

The image, along with those questions, have been floating around social media for years, but now science is taking a hard look at what our eyes are seeing.

"In this particular case it happened to look like a face because that's one of the possible ways smoke can look," said Dr. Stephen Macknik with the Barrow Neurological Institute.

"When you have smoke emanating from fire it often takes up this conical shape in which vertical and horizontal lines can be superimposed which are the eyes and nose and mouth of the 'Satan' in the smoke of 9/11," said Dr. Susana Martinez-Conde with the Barrow Neurological Institute.

"But the reason it looks like a face to us is because our brain is tuned to actually see faces in things. And it's trying to find faces all the time," Macknik said.

Scientists said it's something that happens even more in an emotionally significant moment, like 9/11.

The photo is real, but the face, no matter how you perceive it, is all in our heads.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Sidebar: WTC site, Tempe Healing Field

Updated:

SLIDESHOW: "Ground Zero" eleven years later More>>

  • Local newsMore>>

  • KOLD INVESTIGATES: Women, drugs and Arizona prisons

    KOLD INVESTIGATES: Women, drugs and Arizona prisons

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 10:06 PM EDT2017-09-20 02:06:04 GMT
    (Source: Tucson News Now)(Source: Tucson News Now)

    Arizona puts more women behind bars than most states in the country and a majority of the inmates are there for non-violent drug offenses.

    Arizona puts more women behind bars than most states in the country and a majority of the inmates are there for non-violent drug offenses.

  • BREAKING

    Rep. Grijalva arrested outside of Trump Tower

    Rep. Grijalva arrested outside of Trump Tower

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 9:33 PM EDT2017-09-20 01:33:33 GMT
    Rep. Raul Grijalva.Rep. Raul Grijalva.

    Rep. Raul Grijalva was arrested Tuesday during a protest outside of Trump Tower in New York.

    Rep. Raul Grijalva was arrested Tuesday during a protest outside of Trump Tower in New York.

  • Looks like another banner season for the Tucson Roadrunners

    Looks like another banner season for the Tucson Roadrunners

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 8:45 PM EDT2017-09-20 00:45:53 GMT
    (Source: Tucson News Now)(Source: Tucson News Now)

    The team management said before the season started if it could get 4,000 fans a game, it would achieve its goal. It averaged 4,054. 

    The team management said before the season started if it could get 4,000 fans a game, it would achieve its goal. It averaged 4,054. 

Powered by Frankly