Earlier this week in China a black-and-gold “human-like face” was spotted as it slowly crept out of the shadows. This face was witnessed on a fish, complete with markings that resemble eyes, nose, and mouth.
According to Newsflare, a video captured on November 5, 2019, revealed a carp with face-like features in southwestern China. Cyprinus carpio can range from dark olive to silver in the wild. According to the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, carp are bred in captivity for their ornamental colors that may come in a variety of styles, including golden-yellow and black which resemble a human face.
Yet why do we see a human face on a creature that is so far from our species? It is a concept known as anthropomorphism, by which humans attribute human characteristics or behavior to animals. It comes partly from our inborn connection to the world of nature. Studies show that babies are more involved in pets than any other item in their world and there are pet names and their noises are the first things a baby can utter.
There are a number of theories about why people anthropomorphize non-human beings or object most of which suggest that it is an arbitrary trait that derives from our social structure, allowing us to read signs, body language and actions to help us survive.
A systematic review of anthropomorphic studies found that our capacity to anthropomorphize non-human beings was “driven by a series of mental processes” that are both an automatic response to any human behavior and analytical, such as assuming that your pet might be starving when it is sitting in front of the refrigerator.
Then again, sometimes pranksters are doing a good job at faking it. Earlier this year, a video showing a fish with a human face racked up a whopping 9.1 million views from both believers and critics. An investigation by Snopes discovered that the clip is completely fake – surprise, surprise.