HomeOutdoorsSnowy Forest Photo Sparks Online Debate: Do You See a Dog or a Man?

Snowy Forest Photo Sparks Online Debate: Do You See a Dog or a Man?

by Jennifer Shea
Peter Titmuss/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Is it a photo of a man walking away into the forest? Or a dog running forward through the snow?

Viewers Debate Snowy Forest Photo

A photograph has been circulating on the Internet depicting a scene in the snowy woods. The figure in the scene could be viewed either way. And that has sparked an online debate: which is it, man or dog?

The photo originally picked up steam on Facebook. It’s not clear where it was taken or (spoiler alert) … whose dog appears at its center.

In fact, the figure in the photo is a black poodle running through the snow towards the camera. But there’s something about the position of its legs and tail. They make it seem possible, at a distance, to also see a human figure cloaked in black with snow on his or her back.

What You See Says Something About You

The Sun consulted Lee Chambers, an environmental psychologist and wellbeing consultant. He said that the assumption you make about the image reveals something of your personality. 

“Where your eyes first focus on the picture certainly plays a part in the perception of your image, but your current psychological state can also play a role in whether you see a dog approaching or a human escaping,” he said.

“If you are currently anxious, you are much more likely to see the man escaping, seeing the image in a more threatening viewpoint,” Chambers went on to explain. “This will also be more likely if you are more pessimistic or less easy to trust others, seeing something moving away rather than approaching, or a human possibly acting in a sinister manner.”

Meanwhile, he said, if you find yourself in “a place of calm confidence,” you will probably notice the dog’s facial features first.

“If you’re are an optimistic individual, you are more likely to see something coming into your life and see the dog and embrace the snowy vista surrounding it,” Chambers said.