Would you spend $10,000 on a rock that looks like Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster — or would you ask some friends to chip in?
Geologists, cookie-lovers and many social media users are hungry for footage of an unusual geode that resembles the cookie-devouring muppet after it was first revealed online earlier this month.
Gemologist Lucas Fassari, 33, found the geode in Brazil last November, according to Kennedy News and Media. The rock now belongs to California-based gemologist Mike Bowers, who says collectors have offered him up to US$10,000 for the one-of-a-kind geode.
That’s enough dough to buy well over 100,000 cookies, depending on your cookie or choice.
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Bowers recently posted a geode demonstration video on his Facebook page, where he routinely shows off various extraordinary stones.
The video shows Bowers holding both halves of the geode together in the palm of his hand. The geode looks like a grey egg when held together, but it splits open to show two nearly identical Cookie Monster “faces” on either side.
The rock itself is a volcanic agate — a stone with a rough exterior and many swirling, coloured layers of chalcedony within. The semi-precious geodes form in nodules (sort of like bubbles) within ancient lava flows, where layer upon layer of silica slowly builds up and hardens over many years. The layers are clearly visible when the rock is cut along a specific axis.
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The Cookie Monster “face” is blue with a white outline, two white circles for “eyes” and two dark holes for “pupils” in those eyes. The face also has a gap for a smiling “mouth.”
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“I think this is probably the most perfect Cookie Monster out there,” Bowers told Kennedy News and Media. “I have seen others but here you have it complete on both sides.”
Bowers lumped the geode in with several other famous agates, including one said to look like an owl and another that looks like a scared face.
“There are many approximate ones but it is rare to find one so well-defined like this,” he said.
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The “face” itself is a remarkable coincidence that triggers the pattern recognition part of the human brain — a phenomenon known as pareidolia.
Neuroscientists use pareidolia to describe the way our brains see patterns and images in random, everyday objects. It’s the phenomenon that lets us see an elephant in the clouds, Jesus in a piece of toast, a winking face in punctuation 😉 or a Muppet in a piece of rock.
“Me no geologist,” Cookie Monster tweeted, “but me think dat rock look a lot like me …”
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