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Mass hallucination

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A mass hallucination is a phenomenon in which a large group of people, usually in physical proximity to each other, all experience the same hallucination simultaneously. Mass hallucination is a common explanation for mass UFO sightings, appearances of the Virgin Mary, and other paranormal phenomena.

In most cases, mass hallucination refers to a combination of suggestion and pareidolia, wherein one person will see, or pretend to see, something unusual (like the face of Jesus in the burn-marks on a tortilla, or the face of a kidnapped girl on a blank billboard) and point it out to other people. Having been told what to look for, those other people will consciously or unconsciously convince themselves to recognize the apparition, and will in turn point it out to others.

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