Sandra Zimdars-Swartz, a professor of religious studies at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, said people looking at an image and finding something meaningful among the patterns of light and dark is common, such as people finding pictures in clouds and tiles.
After 22 years of studying such religious phenomena, she
said it is also not uncommon for people to place religious meanings with the images they see."People are feeling relieved that this disaster came very close to tragedy, but no one was hurt or killed," Zimdars-Swartz
said."One of those cherished beliefs we have is that no events happen without meaning."While there can be many mundane reasons why there were no deaths, they are not terribly satisfying explanations.For this reason," she
said, "persons of faith will see something meaningful in the carnival photo, while those who are not of faith will not see anything."The idea is there that even if the photographer knew how he
took the photograph, he
was not in charge of what comes out in the photograph."