A picture posted to Reddit’s r/funny board is functioning as something of a pervert test, as people strain their eyes to get a look at what’s really going on in the snap.
Quick: What do you see in the photo below?
Some folks see one thing immediately, while others see something entirely different, with a line drawn firmly between the rump-minded and the innocent. If you let your eyes focus, you’ll see a man tenderly leaning in to kiss his newborn baby, but at first glance, you couldn’t be faulted for seeing a hairy derriere looming above the baby’s head. These people certainly did:
I was SICK for like three whole minutes pic.twitter.com/Exo6g3EgSe
— Voldemort (@Unorthodex) January 14, 2016
This picture took me on horrifying ride for about a full minute pic.twitter.com/Dt2EDtlivR
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 14, 2016
The photo is freaking folks out, mostly because we all have come to expect the Internet to be a terrible place that is positively inundated with surreptitious (and not-so-surreptitious) pictures of bungholes.
To that end, a user by the name of jessie_no_i on the post’s comment thread has a theory about the human propensity to see tushies where there are, in fact, no tushies at all, opening with an anecdote about attempting to show his wife what was strange about the picture, since she didn’t see what could possibly have him freaked.
Then he posits that there must be some reason some people immediately see a tuchus while others see nothing but a charming, candid family moment:
My wife doesn’t internet much. Hardly ever, actually. Barely has an email account outside of work. Might check Pinterest or something a few times a month. I, like the rest of you degenerates, am on the interents basically throughout the day in some form or another.
See, I have a hypothesis. I think those that Internet “a lot” would see a man’s rectum at first glance (or 30, as it took some of us to unsee the seeming atrocity), and those that don’t spend a measurable amount of time on the cybernet instantly see the top of a bald mans head, an ear, and his freakishly hairy shoulder.
There must be a study about this somewhere…I must know if my hypothesis is correct.
We don’t know if science has tackled life’s butt-mirage enigma with a groundbreaking study yet, but it’s entirely possible that this is just another instance of pareidolia, the mind’s tendency to fit familiar images into a recognizable picture. So if you spend a lot of time looking at butts, that could indeed be the reason this also looks like a butt to you.
But rest assured, it’s nothing but a sweet moment between new parents and their infant, and one we hope will not be tainted overmuch by imaginary tush cushions. But if you are the type of person with a brain riddled with image after image of truly NSFW gluteal encounters, you are not alone in seeing what cannot be unseen.
Now, does anyone know what it means if you keep following the picture down to the dad’s waist and see yet another butt cheek? Asking for a friend.