The rabbit and the man on the moon: how are they pictured?

I actually can “see” the man on the moon. However, there are many references of a rabbit, and other animals and objects that people elsewhere “see” on the full moon.

I am looking for drawings or paintings that show how people in other cultures manage to see the rabbit, frog, etc on the surface.

I am curious also to know what other nations see with the naked eye, on the surface of the moon.

Hi Gigobuster
I did a quick search and found this link:

Does it help?


Yes Daizy! it does! :cool:

I missed that because my previous searches were directed to finding artistic representations on how a rabbit was pictured.

I am still looking for that, and other animals or things people “see” on the moon.

Keep in mind, though, that Daizy’s link is from New Zealand… where the Moon appears upside down from those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. There’s a Northern Hemisphere rabbit, and I’ve tried to draw it (crudely) here.

We do a show about the moon at the planetarium, and we go over several of these images. There’s a frog, a rabbit, an old woman, a girl carrying a pair of buckets. They even came up with a “Moonwitch” for a show of the same name. (The “Man in the Moon” I’ve never been able to see, even with the drawing used in the show. I’m not convinced it’s the most popular interpretation…)

Once we get past Astronomy Day this Saturday, I’ll see if I can scan some of the slides and post a link.

If you’re familiar with the man-in-the-moon face, picture the man’s left eyebrow as the laid-down ears of a rabbit. The head faces toward your left, and your imagination sorta finds the body in the dark parts below that. I know it’s the same moon, but I find it much easier to “find” images on the orb as seen through the haze with naked eyes. All the details in a technically perfect telescope photo just get in the way.

The Japanese also see a rabbit on the moon… leaping. That’s why Sailor Moon’s name is Usagi (Bunny), among other things.

I have yet to find a picture of this today, but it is different from the New Zealand version

Others see a Crab in the moon – the bunny’s ears form the crab;s claw. I’ve also heard of a horned toad in the moon. I assume the horns are also the bunny’s ears.
There’s an interesting “woman in the moon”, formed by the white pasrts of the moon.

In Chinese legend it is a woman and a rabbit

I can almost see a logo in the moon.

To tie together Daizy and sailor’s links: If you go to Daizy’s photos, scroll down to the full view photo and tilt your head to the left. It’s a full body view of the rabbit sitting up on his hind legs, hunched over, and pounding out the new elixir of Immortality, as told in sailor’s link. Right in the center, there is a little upside-down mushroom shape; that’s the mortar and pestle used for making the elixir.

I’d heard the Chinese story many moons ago, but never could see that image. One night I saw it, wow! It’s the exact description, and someone cleverly made a tale to go with it. Now I see the rabbit first, instead of the Man.

For me, in the Northern Hemisphere, the Australian bunny looks like an ant. And so, I see an ant driving a car.

OK, so the ant is driving the car straight up the side of a wall and it’s a freakin’ ant I see. I don’t expect a large grass roots movement to start popularizing the “ant on the moon.”


When you include the white and black parts together, I see a ball.

drewbert’s rabbit looks like a buffalo to me(the image on the moon not his drawing, I promise)

Robert A. Heinlein first suggested such an idea in his short story The Man Who Sold the Moon.

thanks for that drewbert!, I hope you can post the other images later.

Thanks for that story sailor.

Many thanks to everyone for all the other replies, I am still looking for more “how to see x on the moon” examples.

Here’s some links.

BTW, to see southern hemisphere stuff on the moon (assuming you’re up north), try checking out a full moon at dawn. It’s not upside down but it is tipped over enough to make out the “alternate” moon pics.

Good links JKB, but the last one was referring to images found with the aid of a telescope; however, I would like to find more references to the “The Indian in the moon” in the last link.

I want to concentrate on images that can be “seen” with the naked eye.

Sorry for the delay!

Here are those pictures from the planetarium show I mentioned. They don’t all line up perfectly, probably because our artist used a painting of the full moon (rather than a photograph) for the line art to be seen against.