Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse.

In Cosmos: A Personal Voyage Sagan claimed that Heikegani crabs occasional resemblance to Samurai resulted in their being spared from capture and thus exaggerate the trait in their offspring, a hypothesis proposed by Julian Huxley in 1952. Such claims have been met with skepticism.

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