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These creepy newswire photos of mannequins will haunt your dreams

A mannequin is covered with a plastic sheet to prevent from rains outside a garments store in Mumbai, India, Saturday, June 23, 2018. India's western state of Maharashtra enforced its state-wide ban on a wide range of single-use plastic items including disposable cutlery and thermocol. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade
Can’t unsee.
  • Amanda Shendruk
By Amanda Shendruk

Visual journalist

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

For a recent assignment, I had the misfortune of stumbling upon newswire photos tagged with “mannequin.” Turns out, the uncanny valley is alive and well in the image databases for Reuters and the Associated Press.

The uncanny valley describes the relationship between how lifelike an object is and our emotional response to that object. The more a robot or doll resembles a realistic human, the more positive we feel towards it. That is, up to a point. There is a significant dip in the comfort we feel around life-like objects when they become too real. Owing to this effect, mannequins are often far creepier than they ought to be.

These images have been haunting my dreams—and now they can haunt yours. Happy Halloween!

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
The destroyed face of a dummy used during a blast scene investigation drill in Thailand, 2016.
REUTERS/Umit Bektas
Mannequin parts at a factory in Ankara, 2014.
REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
A mannequin of Vladimir Putin at a rally in Ukraine protesting Russia’s hosting of the World Cup, 2018.
REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
Broken mannequins lie behind a shop front damaged by clashes between anti-government protestors and riot police in Kiev, 2014.
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Nursing students in Michigan use a mannequin to learn how to respond to real-life medication situations, 2016.
REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Fiberglass mannequin parts at a factory in Egypt, 2017.
AP Photo/Leanne Italie
A mannequin in an animal mask wears designer John Varvatos’ Men’s Fall/Winter 2016 fashion line in New York.

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