Is there a name for this phenomena? Or maybe its just me...

You see an animal you’ve never seen before, or not in a long time and your brain makes it look like something you are familiar with.

Then as you realize it isn’t what you thought…theres a slight moment of nausea as it transforms into its real form.

ex: Once I saw a possum at a distance, my brain made it look like a cat…but its movements were nothing like that…so when it stopped being a cat and turned into a posssum, i got dizzy and nauseous. Just for a split second.

Same thing happened to me with a fox at a distance on a street.

Slightly related, i’ve seen PEOPLE i thought were people i knew…and let me tell you the second you start talking to them as if they are the person you know and you realize its someone you dont know…is very unsettling. Not nauseous, but weird for sure,

Perhaps pareidolia? But that typically relates to non-related shapes.

I had a weird experience like this once, and, weirder still, shared it with a friend. We were walking down the road in Bendigo (central Vic, Australia) and saw a dead magpie in the gutter. At least, we both assumed it was a dead magpie. We got a bit closer, and, looking again, it was a beer bottle with a torn label. Like you say, disconcerting!

There is deformed tree on my road. It looks just like a silhouette of a owl on a branch. Freaks me the eff out everytime I see it without prep in my head. I see faces in the trees a bunch. I am kinda crazy though.

Apophenia? Maybe?

Maybe this is “the willies”. :slight_smile:

I don’t know about a name, but I’ve felt it, too. “Wow, that dog has long legs. Wait, that’s a deer, not a dog.”

We tend to see what we expect to see first and, only after a closer look, see what is really there.

I may be wrong, but I think the OP’s real question is about the nausea.

I would suspect that it’s related to the uncanny valley effect.

I don’t know a term for it but it isn’t especially unusual–we don’t really “see” what we see so much as our brain interpreting internally-learned models. If we see something completely new or something familiar in an unexpected context from a distance, our brains may “fill in” the image one way before suddenly switching to another, sort of like the switching of a Necker cube. There have been a number of times that I’ve seen something but couldn’t actually “see” it until I reasoned out what it was. Most recently was just a couple of days ago–I was sitting outside and noticed a small red box around 10 feet in front of me. I had to stare at it for several seconds before my brain saw it for what it was–half of one of those small red bricks, which I had recently used to pound a stake into the ground. Not a solid one, but one that had three small round holes, so the broken side was very bumpy. But I saw it as a perfect cube until my brain interpreted otherwise.

I would not have dizziness or nausea in that circumstance. My default assumption is that you are weird.

Please make a minimal attempt to use descriptive thread titles.

Nitpick: “This phenomenon,” or “these phenomena.”

“Phenomena” is plural.

Saw a sandhill crane, my brain saw an ostrich.

That’s a weird-looking cat, with a bushy tail and a white stripe . . . oh, sh#%.

Do doo da do doo.

What the OP’s experiencing visually is just another example of how terrible our raw visual information is, and how it has to be massaged into shape by an active brain which expects to see certain things, and can correct noise and incompleteness in the visual information by filling in gaps based on those expectations. Our expectations can be subverted, and changed, by new information, however.

The only odd part is the nausea.

I saw a show about the brain where they discussed someone who had an injury to the emotional pathway. When he looked at his parents, he thought they were imposters because he did not get the emotional feelings he was supposed to. His brain convinced him they were imposters (e.g. body snatchers) and he would yell at them. Whatever emotional pathway between vision and emotion was broken. However, the emotional pathway still worked for hearing. So when he would think his parents were imposters, they would call him on the phone and tell him that they were his parents and that everything was all right. The show said that our brains recognize something based both on what it looks like and what emotions we feel when we look at it. I suppose something similar is going on with you in this case. Your vision sees “cat”, your brain creates the “cat” emotions, but then your brain realizes something is wrong when it doesn’t look or act like a cat. I suspect the nausea is from your brain trying to switch the emotional feeling from cat to possum. It may also be a warning system so you’re not fooled. It may be trying to prevent you from approaching an unknown animal that you thought was something else.

Interesting. In that situation my brain will always say ‘enh who cares.’…but if it moves, that’s not something I can ignore.

This happens to me occasionally usually with billboards or patterns on the wall. It seems to happen more often when I’m tired. I always figured it was related to my ambliopia. Possibly also related to pattern recognition?