I’m not just talking about any old teeth, but teeth bared.
As a sign of anger or threat, it’s one of the most obvious cues that animals can give us about their current disposition. Compare…
As encountered on a summer road trip to the prairies (Elk Island Park in Alberta), these bison wandered across the road all around our car. As huge as they are, I wasn’t alarmed until I saw the bared teeth. Yikes!
(It turns out that a minivan was totalled by these behemoths the week before, so I’m glad I didn’t get them too angry. NB, tip from park staff: Never honk at bison!)
The bared teeth effect is even more dramatic in cutesy animals:
Aren’t they sweet…
Ye gods! Someone call an exorcist!
Courtesy of Scientific American, some thoughts on bared teeth vs. smiles.
(and one rock face)
On our camping trip last weekend I kept seeing faces everywhere!
And none of them seemed very happy…
Bwa ha ha!
For newcomers to this site, every Thursday I post a Weekly Eldritch, or something I find creepy.
(eldritch = unearthly, alien, supernatural, weird, spooky, eerie)
Last week I mentioned an art installation I saw many years ago and Jan came to the rescue and identified the artist so I could look him up. The artist in question is Tony Oursler and this is what I saw that made my skin crawl…
Basically you walk into a darkened, quiet gallery room and there’s this limp doll lying on a chair with a face projected on it… and the face is talking, or rather whispering to you. Something about having a secret, I don’t remember exactly, but it was spooky!
Here is Tony Oursler’s home site, with tons of photos of his work, much of which is decidedly eldritch.
This first photo is an old one I took at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York years ago and unfortunately I don’t have any more info about this creepy devil dog, or devil horned sheep maybe? Actually, I think a devil sheep would be far scarier than your boring everyday demon hound.
There’s really something unsettling about someone covering their face with a mask, concealing their identity and pretending to be someone or something else. It’s just too bad that masks have gone out of vogue at Hallowe’en, for the younger kids anyway, because of fears that their vision will be hampered when crossing the street. Say what you will, face paint doesn’t allow you to disappear into your character quite as effectively as a mask does.
The following photos were taken in the First Nations exhibit at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria.
Saving the best for last, this one is called “Man Burned by Fire”. Yikes!
How about you? Are you creeped out by people wearing masks?