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Microexpressions and Funny Faces

Updated on December 1, 2016
Gargoyle on west front at Salisbury Cathedral.
Gargoyle on west front at Salisbury Cathedral. | Source

It was ever important to understand faces and body signs mainly when life and welfare were at risk and there was a short time to estimate the situation.

Today we are less into life risk situations but we have to deal with all kinds of people at home, work or out. It's essential to understand others quickly to sustain good relationships and peaceful behaviors.

If 93% of human communication occurs at a nonverbal level, through body and face expressions it's wise to pay attention to any part of body changes. Also, there are over 215 behaviors associated with psychological discomfort and most of those are not in the face, so it's really important not to concentrate only in the faces.

Knowledge of facial expressions and other body language have lots of practical applications in daily life like psychological evaluation required in all kind of situations from media and politics to marketing and sales, research and even art.

Some expressions are difficult to differentiate because the facial movements are very alike, but others are easily recognized like anger and happiness. Also, the same emotion can produce different expressions in different people, we don't smile all in the same way, so we have to try to understand all.

Studying expressions

Photographs from the 1862 book Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine by Guillaume Duchenne.
Photographs from the 1862 book Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine by Guillaume Duchenne. | Source

Facial expressions were investigated since early and in 1862 Guillaume Duchenne published a study about electric stimulation of the facial muscles trying to identify which ones were responsible for different facial expressions.

Those studies were continued by Charles Darwin that compared humans and animals and argued that the expression of emotions has evolved in humans from animals,

1 May 1954
1 May 1954 | Source

Smiles

We all know that smiles are contagious. If we see other people smiling we copy them and it makes us feel better.

Even a forced smile can change our mood and this is used in some depressive treatments where people occasionally follow smiling sessions.

Grimaces and very good french music!

Grimacing at the Photo Festival Les Azimutés à Uzès (Gard, France). Music by Jacques Dutronc.

To transform a grimace into a sound sounds impossible, yet it is possible to transform a vision

— Dejan Stojanovic

Funny faces in art

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Paisley Abbey, Scotland York Minster Cathedral Basilica St-Nazaire in the old town of Carcassonne, FranceGargoyle St. Vitus Cathedral PragueVisby cathedral, SwedenGargoyle, over The Ugly Mug (coffeehouse), University Manor building, University District, Seattle, Washington.
Paisley Abbey, Scotland
Paisley Abbey, Scotland | Source
 York Minster Cathedral
York Minster Cathedral | Source
Basilica St-Nazaire in the old town of Carcassonne, France
Basilica St-Nazaire in the old town of Carcassonne, France | Source
Gargoyle St. Vitus Cathedral Prague
Gargoyle St. Vitus Cathedral Prague | Source
Visby cathedral, Sweden
Visby cathedral, Sweden | Source
Gargoyle, over The Ugly Mug (coffeehouse), University Manor building, University District, Seattle, Washington.
Gargoyle, over The Ugly Mug (coffeehouse), University Manor building, University District, Seattle, Washington. | Source

Since ancient civilizations people used gargoyles to throw rainwater off the roof but the most well-known are the medieval ones because of their odd shapes.

Very often these waterspouts represent grotesque figures used to frighten off and protect buildings, such as churches, from any evil or harmful spirits. When not constructed as a waterspout and only serving an ornamental or artistic function, the name for such a sculpture is a chimera but they are commonly denominated also gargoyles.

President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's "not impressed" look while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team in the Oval Office, November 15, 2012.
President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's "not impressed" look while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team in the Oval Office, November 15, 2012. | Source

Just for fun: funny faces in everyday objects

Click thumbnail to view full-size
funny face! This is a cover of sewage.Faces in two Type A USB plugsBeaming SmileFunny Rice Cooker Face is Sick and PukingExample of visual pareidolia: a "face" can be seen on the fragment of the traffic lights suspensionConcrete smiley face A potato with a mummy faceScary Candle Burner
Source
funny face! This is a cover of sewage.
funny face! This is a cover of sewage. | Source
Faces in two Type A USB plugs
Faces in two Type A USB plugs | Source
Beaming Smile
Beaming Smile | Source
Source
Funny Rice Cooker Face is Sick and Puking
Funny Rice Cooker Face is Sick and Puking | Source
Example of visual pareidolia: a "face" can be seen on the fragment of the traffic lights suspension
Example of visual pareidolia: a "face" can be seen on the fragment of the traffic lights suspension | Source
Concrete smiley face
Concrete smiley face | Source
 A potato with a mummy face
A potato with a mummy face | Source
Scary Candle Burner
Scary Candle Burner | Source

It happened to all of us to discover a human face shape in an ordinary object, a phenomenon called pareidolia. We can find lots of examples around the net of perceived faces where they don't exist.

Why not think about shooting similar photos at your place?

Comments

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    • Margaridab profile imageAUTHOR

      Margarida Borges 

      8 years ago from Lyon, France

      Thanks :)

    • gramon1 profile image

      Guillermo Ramon 

      8 years ago from Miami

      Very funny pictures. It is amazing what we can look like!

    • Youngcurves19 profile image

      Youngcurves19 

      8 years ago from Hawaii

      HAHAHAHA great hub the little boy looks like the green Goblin

    • Margaridab profile imageAUTHOR

      Margarida Borges 

      8 years ago from Lyon, France

      that's right! :)

    • Ivorwen profile image

      Ivorwen 

      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Hahahaha! It is funny what a camera can catch! I wonder how many of these would have been remembered without the stop-motion of a camera.

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