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By on October 24, 2010, with 62 Comments

I usually ignore the cloud/water illusions which supposedly resemble angels, faces, aliens….etc. It’s simply because they are too big of a stretch, at most of the times. Here and then something passes my filter, and in those rare cases it’s questionable if there was photoshopping involved. However, Ricardo Carvalho’s submission intrigued me. Perhaps the story behind this photo made it look even more interesting. Apparently, on 15th February 1986, on a Saturday between noon and 16 hours, the Azores suffered the greatest storm of the century, with wind reaching velocities of nearly 250km/h. Jose Henrique Azevedo took photographs before and after the storm. Waves reached heights of between 15 and 20 meters and, when they broke, as high as 60 meters. Two years later when Jose wished to show proof of this event, to visiting yachtsmen, he printed two of the photos. Having done so, he discovered that at the moment when he had photographed a particular breaking wave it had taken on human form – and thus became known as Neptune at Horta. Can you see the Neptune’s face? What do you think of it?

Neptune at Horta


62 Responses
  1. Z2d4th says:

    Ya I see the image very clearly. I think it’s Poseidon the Greek god of seas.File:Poseidon_sculpture_Copenhagen_2005.jpg

    • johnny D says:

      No, it’s not Poseidon. It’s Neptune. That’s kind of the whole story. Neptune was lord of the seas as was Poseidon though they were very separate religions. Greek and Roman

    • Riccardo says:

      well the Romans pretty much took most of the greek gods and gave the majority of them different names so “Neptune” is really Poseidon. But Im just saying so you think that Poseidon and Neptune are 2 different gods. Just the same god but two different names

    • Rads says:

      That’s the point! It *is* supposed to look like the god of the sea! That’s why it’s called ‘Neptune at Horta’. Neptune is the Roman name for the god of water and the sea… ;)

      Nice natural illusion, Vurdlak!

    • Cree says:

      It may be two different religions, but I know for a fact that they were the same person. They just simply had separate names. Hence the “different religion” bit. Plus none of that mythology crap is real, so get over it. BTW, there is no such thing as gods.

    • Pods Of Bob says:

      I Sea Him. He’s Sorta On His Side. Look At The Photo On A Diag. It Tealy Helps.

  2. i dont see it says:

    i dont see anything but land, water and sky ! you guys have a good imagination.

    • Janessa says:

      I can see it perfecaly fine. That was just great timing too!!! ;] :]

    • josephine says:

      It’s at the tip of the rock. A beard at the bottom, a pointy nose in the middle, and a mermaid tail looking tuft of hair at the top.

    • Dr.T says:

      If you look from left to right it appears as if he is coming up for breath. From left to right you have his hair, eyebrows, nose and beard but you do have to look closely.

    • Mikki Ho says:

      it’s the biggest wave you see, its a shape of the God’s face

    • ohmygosh says:

      he is facing NOT in the direction of the land but kind of in the sky. And Z2d4th, you can’t read. It’s already stated its NEPTUNE not Poseidon.

    • unanimous says:

      he’s using the rock for a pillow!!!

  3. Slammer says:

    That’s pretty cool. Not often do you get an illusion in real life that is this easy to see. Neat pic!

  4. JN says:

    I think it’s on part of that wave hitting the rock. I see a face profile looking to the upper right of the screen. He has a big chin.

  5. This is an awesome turn of events and I say so as well due to the fact that the next day the love of my life was born and so I interpret this photo as a water baby bearer and a a happy or somewhat jubilant one that it reached sad to say storm proportions…Any way awesome shot & water babies are the best =)

  6. Cherry Blossom says:

    yeah, i see it. that’s pretty cool!

  7. Laina says:

    It’s a cool picture and because it’s a real photo taken at the right time makes it even more awesome. Neptune is the roman name for Poseidon btw.

  8. Scuter says:

    I see several things. I see a wolf. I see a ‘monster’ type thing, but nothing that I would say “hey, there’s Neptune”
    Would be nice to have a link to another pic that might “outline” the illusion.

  9. Fried Calamari says:

    Awesome Picture!

  10. Katherine Kirk says:

    That’s Neptune taking a break!

  11. Florette says:

    Neptune is the Roman name of the water god. Awesome picture!

  12. Marci says:

    Excellent pic, great timing! And yes, it does take a touch of imagination to see it…

  13. t00tall10169 says:

    yea definitely see it. cool how some things work out to be so neat and interesting without trying to be

  14. josephine says:

    I wonder if it’s photo shopped, even just a little…

  15. first says:

    i can’t see anything….. could anyone help me?

  16. anon says:

    I don’t see shit. Don’t ever post an illusion like this ever again

    • Merrick says:

      “anon says:

      I don’t see shit. Don’t ever post an illusion like this ever again”

      You’re in the minority. Everyone else seems to like it. It’s not all about you, so get over yourself.

  17. Gregory Padilla says:

    That’s clearly King Triton from Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

  18. Dominik Urbaniak says:

    Left-upper corner/part of biggest wave clash even looks like a lion or dog head to me. ;d

    • May says:

      I can’t believe anyone else saw the dog/wolf/dragon thing besides me. I thought that was me having an active imagination xD

  19. Braedon James Poole says:

    all i can see is a wolf coming out of the waves

  20. Fred says:

    If it’s not cleverly shopped it is a good image capture. Although much like capturing a cloud formation, It is much harder to capture such an image in a wave since it comes and goes very quickly. It would be a rare coincident indeed to snap a picture at just the right moment to produce the effect. In the event it is in fact legit, it may be a frame of video. It would be far easier to flip through frames and catch just the right one with a recognizable image. It could be any number of likenesses. One would need only to be looking for a suitable frame.

  21. Dave says:

    Mighty Optical Illusions is really one of my favorite features in this vast world of the web; it’s the first thing I check in my daily surfing.

    This one is fun (all be it frightening) as a visit from the watery god in the 80′s.

    I suppose since it is from the pre-digital photographic world, Carvalho’s print could always be proven if ever in question. It was much harder to fudge negatives.

    Thanks for another great one

  22. Dr.T says:

    That is a really cool pic and does look like Poseidon. Normally you would expect something like that to be pretty heavily photoshopped but it looks pretty natural to me.

  23. qwertyuiop says:

    he looks like santa

  24. earthling says:

    What of the wolf’s head behind the face? There is a wolf climbing the rock behind the face, or if you look at the shadows a different way, is it the face of a Chinese dragon?

  25. youssed says:

    i cannot see it, how we can see it?

  26. Linda Walter says:

    Wow, I saw the profile of Neptune right away! Cool! Even looks like his eyes are wide open!

  27. Blair says:

    can someone tell me where the face is?

  28. zeg says:

    if this is not PS then im a carrot.. looks kewl tho

  29. Kathryn Thompson says:

    That is definitely Neptunian. Very Kewl. I love seeing things in rocks or waterfalls, ocean waves, mountains, etc.

  30. Seb Coco says:

    For me, it’s poseidon too :).

  31. That was submitted by the Portuguese footballer? :)

  32. Psychodad says:

    Took me a minute — I was looking in the right place but reading it way different — I see Godzilla! (The face is G’s back spikes, and G’s face is to the left, with the mouth open.)

  33. Cadbury-monster says:

    I agree that it could be either gods, they are both gods of the sea, but in different religions. I would prefer it to be Poseidon though, but that’s just what Rick Riordan does to your brain.

  34. SnowBerey says:


  35. Care Bear says:

    What’s he doing? Tell him to get back in the ocean where he belongs!

  36. Sebastian says:

    I see the face, but also if you look closely the upper lip could be his face while the lower lip is his sholder, his nose looks like an arm up with a fist about to pound the sea shore.

    But maybe I have a very vivid imagination.

  37. Natalie says:

    I had trouble seeing it at first, but now I see it.

    I you’re having trouble, this might help. . .

    Imagine the brown rock as a pillow. Neptune is lying on that pillow with just his head out of the water, and from the neck down is still in the water. So he is lying on the far right side of the pillow. Neptune’s head is the wave that is crashing into the brown rock. He is lying on this pillow looking up into the sky at the top right corner of the photo. There is a white bit of the crashing wave that is touching the rock, that’s the back of his head and his white hair. His face is a little darker gray. You will see his profile and can see a tuft of hair on his forehead, an eyebrow, an eye, a pointy nose, a cheekbone, some lips, and a puffy beard on his chin.

    A profile of Neptune:


    • Dolphin says:

      If you look at this comment(Natalie’s comment),the profile looks a lot like the wave…

    • Dolphin says:

      Also,I’m talking about the profile of Neptune(who,by the way,is the same as Poseidon),and the beard especially looks that way.

  38. ali says:

    For those who can’t see it, here’s an outlineNeptuneOutlined.jpg

    • ali says:

      (Oops, hit submit too soon)

      So, he’s laying on his back with his head resting on the rocks. I’ve outlined his forehead down to his chin, beard is just below where the red line stops.

  39. Marcus says:

    I see the silhuette of someone running inside the small water-splash-thingy :)

  40. jusin says:

    yep, that is definitley poseidon. i love greek mythology….

  41. Morph says:

    If you look left it appears a girl is laying down on the shore. In the lefter side, like she need to breth!

  42. Madmax says:

    there are so many faces in this image. zoom in and look at the dark blue inside of the wave. and see him riding with his arm in the air at the top of the wave

  43. spyra78 says:

    ant there is bear, wolf and the guy standing with one orm rised up! can u see them too??
    great photo!

    • Matjl says:

      If you look carefully you can see a guy holding a dagger riding the wave on the opposite diagonal to the face.

  44. Zeb says:

    its Aqua Man the true king of the sea, not that sissy Marine Boy with girl friend Neptuna

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