Move over, Cheesus. Texans have discovered a new holy image in a mundane object. This time, someone's spotted the Virgin Mary in a tree.
The latest sighting happened in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston, where passersby noticed the Virgin Mary's silhouette in a strange-looking knot on a tree facing North Shepherd Drive. Homeowner Kyle Toland told KPRC News that he doesn't mind that people who come to look at the tree and leave a makeshift shrine of flowers and candles behind.
But this is just the latest religious image discovered in Texas. Here are some others from the past few years.
The "Cheesus" of Preston Hollow
In 2009, a Preston Hollow couple found a two-inch Cheeto that they said bears a striking resemblance to Jesus. Sara Bell, dubbed the "Cheeto discoverer" by a local television news reporter, found the Cheeto in a 99-cent bag of snack food when she and her husband were setting out for a road trip. Sara said:
It is a reminder from our blessings from God, but primarily I think it's a funny Cheeto. My first reaction was "let's put this on eBay' and then we said 'how much do you think we should ask for it?'"
Dan Bell said the fate of the Cheeto hinged on the price it could fetch at auction. "It could be 25 cents and it could be 25 dollars. The thing is, if it's only 25 cents, we're probably just gonna eat it," he said. (The cheese pizza pictured above, also called the Cheesus, was made at a pizzeria in Brisbane, Australia).
Jesus Moth in East Texas
Kirk Harper of Pittsburg spotted a curious brown-and-yellow moth that alighted on his RV in 2008. On closer inspection, Harper decided the moth had the face of Jesus on his back. "His hair right here and you can see the mustache and the beard and there's a little slit right there that looks like His mouth and when he would move the mouth would open so it looked like he was trying to talk to you," Harper told KLTV 7 News. Harper trapped the moth and took it to his church.
Crystal City "Treesus"
Back in 2007, Crystal City residents decided a tree there resembled Jesus on the cross. According to a San Antonio Express-News story, now offline, a woman named Betty Jo Hernandez first pointed out the tree's likeness to the son of God.
Hernandez, 31, took a photo of the tree and shared it with co-workers at an elementary school where she works. Many agreed they could see the image of Jesus on the cross, and from there, it spread across town and beyond, fueled over the past two days by news media reports.
Click here to see a photo of the shrine that cropped up.
Outside of Texas
Plenty of such items containing purported religious images are currently for sale on eBay, including a $9,999 umbrella with an image of Jesus ("I would not recommend trying to use this umbrella because it is older and has some wear but it is a truly amazing item," the ad cautions), a $9,999 stone with the image of the Virgin Mary and a $99 potato chip with a cross in the middle.