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.
Malaysia Airlines says it has lost contact with a plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.More >>
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 carrying 239 people lost contact over the South China Sea early Saturday morning on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, and international aviation authorities still hadn't located...More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 8:38 PM EST2014-03-08 01:38:44 GMT
The story is falling apart that 31 year-old Cleveland native, Brian Howard, who goes by "B Howard," is Michael Jackson's love child. There are reports swirling that Howard is definitely a part of theMore >>
The story is falling apart that 31 year-old Cleveland native, Brian Howard, who goes by "B Howard," is Michael Jackson's love child.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 12:25 PM EST2014-03-07 17:25:13 GMT
For one teenager, homelessness is his reality but not his label. Hard work. Struggle. Power. Kendal Benjamin, 17, spends many afternoons in the weight room at C.A. Johnson High School. The graduatingMore >>
Kendal Benjamin, 17, spends many afternoons in the weight room at C.A. Johnson High School. The graduating senior plays football, track and wants to study athletic training in college. He comes to school every day, and many around him don't know what it's like when he goes home at night.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 5:45 PM EST2014-03-07 22:45:35 GMT
Dollars doesn't stretch as far as they used to at grocery stores. Many products have either had prices go up or the size of the package has shrunk - both strain our grocery budgets. Mommy blogger AndreaMore >>
Dollars doesn't stretch as far as they used to at grocery stores. Many products have either had prices go up or the size of the package has shrunk - both strain our grocery budgets.More >>