It’s not surprising that Han Solo was found encased in carbonite on planet Mercury. I mean, we see people and faces in stuff all the time. Whether it’s Jesus in toast, Elvis in a potato chip, the Virgin Mary in a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich or the man on the moon – it happens. Sometimes it looks real, and then your mind starts thinking “what if…” or at least mine does. If you look at this image, it looks like Han has been hanging out on Mercury all these years.
Why do we see faces in non-human things? I can look up at the sky and spot a face in a cloud in a nanosecond. According to an article on NBC News, there is a scientific reason why that happens. That article actually makes it seem pretty normal to see things like this. It describes people who notice that stuff this way:
“These folks aren’t wacky or crazy, and they don’t need their eyes examined. They’re experiencing what’s known as the illusory face perception, a tendency to see face-like areas in non-human things. They may see facial features in nature or inanimate objects (food or household items). An ability to see faces is more common in some people than others due to differences in how our brains process information.”
See mom, I told you I wasn’t crazy when I thought I saw the face of my seventh grade teacher in my iced tea that day. Nah, this Han Solo on planet Mercury looks real, but unfortunately, I doubt it’s him. Since Mercury doesn’t have an atmosphere (no oxygen) or water, Han couldn’t possibly really be there. Bummer.
This photo was taken by NASA’s Messenger Probe. So, the next time you’re looking at the planet Mercury with your telescope, if your mind plays a trick on you and you see Han, just go with it. Let one side of your brain play with the other.