(TMU) — You may have heard the term “piercing eyes,” but what if someone’s gaze was so penetrating that it managed to induce an altered state of consciousness?
Well, according to one psychologist, staring into somebody’s eyes for about 10 straight minutes can cause you to have “out of body” experiences, hallucinations, and visions of loved ones who aren’t present.
The experiment, conducted in 2015 by Dr. Giovanni Caputo of Italy’s University of Urbino, was conducted in a dimly lit room where 20 volunteers sat in pairs while staring intently into one another’s eyes for ten minutes.
While the lighting was bright enough to clearly make out their counterparts’ facial features, the dimness was such that their overall perception of color was weakened, according to British Psychological Society journal Research Digest.
In the meantime, another group of volunteers sat in pairs while facing a blank wall. Participants weren’t given much information about the experiment’s purpose beyond that it involved a “meditative experience with eyes open,” Science Alert reports.
Following the 10-minute exercise, volunteers completed questionnaires about what they experienced.
One questionnaire asked them about any potential feelings of disassociation or detachment they may have felt from their surroundings, while another questioned them about what they saw in the face of their partners or their own face.
Those who stared into their partners’ eyes reported that they had felt different than before, and even began to lose their connection with reality.
Christian Jarrett wrote for Research Digest:
“The participants in the eye-staring group said they’d had a compelling experience unlike anything they’d felt before.”
For the eye-staring group, sounds seemed either quieter or louder than expected, time seemed to be stretched out, and a general “spaced-out” feeling took hold of their psyche.
“On the dissociative states test, they gave the strongest ratings to items related to reduced colour intensity, sounds seeming quieter or louder than expected, becoming spaced out, and time seeming to drag on. On the strange-face questionnaire, 90 percent of the eye-staring group agreed that they’d seen some deformed facial traits, 75 percent said they’d seen a monster, 50 percent said they saw aspects of their own face in their partner’s face, and 15 percent said they’d seen a relative’s face.”
Participants described massive deformations of their own faces, the faces of alive or dead parents, animal faces, and even faces belonging to archetypal figures such as old women, children, or ancestors’ portraits. Many of the faces that were unfamiliar conjured feelings of “otherness,” while some participants felt strong emotions throughout their journey, according to Scientific American.
Dr. Caputo noted in his paper published by the journal Psychiatry Research:
“These results indicate that dissociative symptoms and hallucinatory phenomena during interpersonal-gazing under low illumination can involve different processes.”
A previous study by Caputo in 2010 involved 50 volunteers staring at themselves in a mirror. That paper reported that in under a minute of staring at their own faces, they began seeing what Caputo called the “strange-face illusion.”
Authors Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. Macknik explain that what Caputo has stumbled upon is what’s called neural adaptation, a process by which our neurons keep pace with stimulation either by slowing down or stopping their responses.
When we stare at a scene or object for any extended period of time, our perceptions begin to fade out of sight until either we blink or the scene changes – or we have the tiny involuntary eye movements known as microsaccades, which restore our perception instantly.
Monolith Mysteriously Removed From Utah Desert by ‘Unknown Party’
The shiny metal monolith found in the remote wilderness of southeastern Utah – sparking wild rumors and viral speculation about aliens and UFOs – has gone missing, adding a further twist to the bizarre mysteries surrounding the glistening 10 to 12 foot object.
However, it appears that government officials played no role in the removal of the monolith, which was discovered Nov. 18 by a Utah Department of Public Safety and Division crew during an aerial count of bighorn sheep and subsequently discovered to have been placed in the area at least several years ago.
Ricardo Marino and Sierra Van Meter were among the hundreds of snap-happy visitors hoping to visit the monolith and take some photos for their Instagram accounts at the site located near Canyonlands National Park south of Moab.
However, when the two arrived at the remote location on late Friday night, they found that the monolith had disappeared.
Marino claims to have seen a pickup truck with a large object in its bed driving in the opposite location while they were en route to the location.
Marino and his companion also noticed that someone wrote “Bye B*tch!” and appeared to have urinated on the spot where the piece – which is believed to have been abstract art – formerly stood.
A user on Reddit also visited the spot on early Saturday morning, and said that it was still gone.
In a statement, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said:
“We have received credible reports that the illegally installed structure, referred to as the ‘monolith’ has been removed from Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands by an unknown party. The BLM did not remove the structure which is considered private property. We do not investigate crimes involving private property which are handled by the local sheriff’s office. The structure has received international and national attention and we received reports that a person or group removed it on the evening of Nov. 27.”
Since the disappearance of the monolith, visitors have stacked rocks around the site where it once stood, along with a top piece that was left behind by whoever picked up the object.
Officials had warned the public to avoid trekking out to the monolith, which was located in an area that was so remote that people could possibly become stranded while trying to locate it and require a rescue.
In a press release last Monday, the agency warned: “It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from.”
The tongue-in-cheek warning was a reference to viral buzz surrounding the strange object, with many comparing the monolith to those that trigger massive leaps in human progress in the classic Stanley Kubrick sci-fi film, “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
Others bemoaned the discovery of the object in the turbulent year 2020, with some social media users complaining that the discovery of the monolith had triggered their anxiety over worsening fortunes in the year, including a possible extraterrestrial invasion.
“This is the ‘reset’ button for 2020. Can someone please press it quickly?” one social media user joked.
Foiled Militia Plot Included Week-Long Series of Televised Executions
New details have been revealed about the plan that 14 Michigan militia members had to kidnap the state’s governor Gretchen Whitmer. It appears that the plot went far deeper than just kidnapping, and included a week-long series of live and televised executions of elected officials, according to a new report from ABC News Chicago.
On the surface, the plot was said to be a response to pandemic restrictions imposed by the governor, but the new revelations show that they intended to take over the government and wage a violent war against anyone who disagreed with their political beliefs.
New court filings claim there was a “Plan B” that the group had plotted, in which they would organize hundreds of other militia members to a takeover of the Michigan capitol building, where they would later stage the televised executions. This was reportedly one of the backup plans that the group had if something went awry with their kidnapping while it was in progress.
There was also a “Plan C” which was discussed for the possible event that the takeover and the kidnapping both failed. Plan C included burning down the statehouse with government employees inside and leaving no survivors.
Despite the severity of the charges many of the defendants have had bond reductions and are now free until their trial.
On October 8th, 2020, the FBI announced the arrests of 13 suspects accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Whitmer to spark a violent overthrow of the state government. The suspects were each tied to a group that called themselves the Wolverine Watchmen.
The group was co-founded by Pete Musico and Joseph Morrison. Morrison is considered the group’s “commander.” Six of the suspects were charged in federal court, while the other seven were charged with state crimes. A week later, a fourteenth suspect was arrested and charged in state court.
The suspects named in the federal indictment were Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Barry Croft, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, and Brandon Caserta. Five of the men were Michigan residents, while the sixth, Croft, was from Delaware. Adam Fox and Barry Croft were accused of being the organizers of the plot.
During a court hearing on October 13th, an FBI agent testified that the conspirators had considered leaving Whitmer in a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan and disabling its motor. He also testified that the group had discussed, during the early stages of the planning, kidnapping Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Then, on October 26th, federal prosecutors announced that they were also considering additional federal terrorism charges after the FBI had found “explosive device components” and ghost guns among the property of the suspects. Prosecutors will announce their decision on the additional charges after the materials are analyzed by experts.
Two days later, on October 28th, an unsealed search warrant revealed that some of the suspects had discussed South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster as another possible target. The warrant also revealed that one of the suspects had posted a hit-list of politicians that he said he wanted to hang on his Facebook page back in late June.
The list included the names of McMaster, President Trump, former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, other elected officials, liberals, Muslims, and “all anti-Americans.”
Florida Man Drives Eight-Wheeled Chevy Monster Truck Across the Ocean
A Florida Man has decided to drive his eight-wheeled Chevy monster truck across the ocean. That’s right, you read that correctly: he drove his truck across the ocean. For the TikTok views. And yes, it worked.
The legendary “Florida Man” has long been a favorite for news readers and writers alike, offering an entertaining potpourri of the insane, the impressive, and the grotesque, with stories covering topics including drugs, violence, alligators, and unbelievable feats of human wackiness.
In the latest chapter of the ongoing saga, one brave Florida Man decided to do what no sane man had ever considered: rather than take his monster truck to the demolition derby, he took it to a South Florida bay and sailed it alongside the yachts instead.
WhistlinDiesel can best be described as the Johnny Knoxville of American truck culture, or as he describes himself, one who does “basically everything you’ve ever thought of doing with your truck but you’d never ACTUALLY do … simply because someone says it’s impossible.”
And just like Knoxville and the MTV Jackass gang pushed the concept of extreme, physical challenges beyond the limits of basic common sense, WhistlinDiesel is willing to do anything to go viral and catch some likes. It’s a winning formula, if a bit unsafe.
With that in mind, the social media madman took his two-axle Chevy Silverado, filled its eight tires with a ridiculous amount of air, and drove it straight into the Gulf of Mexico between Longboat Key and Bradenton Beach, Florida, without any sort of propeller.
It wasn’t long before authorities intervened to cut his ludicrous stunt short. WhistlinDiesel had just barely driven into the water and smashed the throttle over the bay before he was forced to haul it out of the drink with a boat while completely surrounded by the local sheriff’s department, the Coast Guard, and the Florida Department of Natural Resources – who were quite likely peeved that someone decided to plunge his diesel truck into a protected body of water.
“Still can’t believe how smoothly this went. I woke up at 4am after 2 hours of sleep that day thinking wtf am I doing? This could either end really good or really bad. Our original plan was to set up at night in the dark and drive miles offshore to watch the sun rise but looking back we got much better reactions from the public this way.”
And good reactions he did receive, as the maniac managed to get tons of press attention and social media clout. It still remains unclear whether he faced any charges for the stunt, so it’s safe to say: Mission accomplished!
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