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>>

  • HAPPENING NOW: Road to Mount Lemmon open with restrictions

    HAPPENING NOW: Road to Mount Lemmon open with restrictions

    Sunday, January 21 2018 3:34 PM EST2018-01-21 20:34:57 GMT

    The road to Mount Lemmon is closed off to the public due to adverse weather conditions and ice on the roads, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department. 

    The road to Mount Lemmon is closed off to the public due to adverse weather conditions and ice on the roads, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department. 

  • Locals gather for different approach to Women's March

    Locals gather for different approach to Women's March

    Sunday, January 21 2018 1:11 PM EST2018-01-21 18:11:20 GMT
    Source: Tucson News NowSource: Tucson News Now

    Tucsonans took a different approach to the annual Women's March in the Old Pueblo. As others walked, chanted, and held up signs around the country, locals gathered for a candlelight vigil.

    Tucsonans took a different approach to the annual Women's March in the Old Pueblo. As others walked, chanted, and held up signs around the country, locals gathered for a candlelight vigil.

  • FINAL: No. 14 Arizona beats Stanford in a thriller 73-71

    FINAL: No. 14 Arizona beats Stanford in a thriller 73-71

    Sunday, January 21 2018 3:29 AM EST2018-01-21 08:29:35 GMT

    No. 14 Arizona rallied from 11 points down in the second half to beat the Cardinal and take sole possession of 1st place in the Pac-12.

    No. 14 Arizona rallied from 11 points down in the second half to beat the Cardinal and take sole possession of 1st place in the Pac-12.

Powered by Frankly