Cody Medina
Cody Medina
May 18, 2024 ·  3 min read

Crashing wave appears to show face of Poseidon the fearsome god of the sea

There are moments in nature where the unexpected happens, and if you didn’t see it, you wouldn’t believe it, especially when it comes to the ocean, one of the most mysterious and ominous things in the world. Some of the most stunning pictures have been taken on the ocean. Being a photographer means that you have to be in the right place at the right time, which is near impossible. However, for photographer Mathieu Rivrin, he caught a glimpse of what appeared to be the deep sea king himself, Poseidon.

Image Credit: Mathieu Rivrin Photography | Instagram

Read: Giant ‘Serpent’ Emerges From the Sea Off the Coast of France

Poseidon, King Of The Seas


You may already know of Poseidon, the Greek god of the oceans, as well as all embodiments of water. He’s been depicted throughout Greek mythology as one of the most powerful gods. Poseidon can often be seen wielding a trident, wearing a crown, and surrounded by fish as well as horses. Additionally, he’s the brother to Zeus, the god of the sky, and Hades, the god of the underworld. Poseidon plays a major role on earth as he controls every ocean and can conjure destructive earthquakes. To put things even more into perspective, his name translates to ‘husband of the earth’ or ‘lord of the earth.’

With that history in mind, this makes these photos all the more powerful to look at. As photographer Rivrin was taking photos of crashing waves during a storm in Lesconil, Brittany, he captured something unexpected. After a few shots, he realized something looked strange about one of the photos. The enormous 30-foot wave that crashed against the sea wall splashed 150 feet high into the air. Forming what looks like the shape of a man’s face while also seemingly depicting Psideon’s beard and crown. When speaking to The Daily Mail, Rivrin recalls the event clearly.

The waves were 10m high, and when they hit the wall, the explosion was sometimes around 50m high. I saw the incredible image of Poseidon with his crown, coming out of the ocean with his face in the wave. I seek to show all the beauty, elegance, and life that a wave can offer you.

Mathieu Rivrin

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The Effects Of Pareidolia


What’s even more interesting about this photo is why we see Psideonis. It’s due to an experience called pareidolia. Many of us can relate, as we’ve experienced this when looking at clouds. What happens is that your mind tries to seek out shapes and faces in inanimate objects like clouds.

There have even been times where people saw faces in their food before. It’s not every day that your cheesy potatoes have the face of Madonna on them. We see faces in almost anything, from the headlights on cars to Jesus on our toast. The question is, why do we see faces everywhere? It may simply be because we see faces every day multiple times a day from the day we’re born. It could also be more of an evolutionary adaption. We heavily depend on interpreting interactions with other animals, including ourselves. In the end, we need to react quickly and identify that someone or something, and gauge their intent. To do this, we need to assess their facial expressions. From an evolutionary standpoint, quickly pinpointing a face can help with our survival.

So the next time you see the ancient mythological Greek God Poseidon in large crashing waves, know that it’s only pareidolia and everything will be fine. Hopefully.

Keep Reading: Geologist Finds Rare Formation Inside Rock That Looks Exactly Like Cookie Monster on Sesame Street


  1. Neuroscience: why do we see faces in everyday objects?BBC. David Robson. July 29, 2014.
  2. “Poseidon.” Britannica. Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica