Is this the Virgin Mary growing out of a TREE?

A mysterious image has appeared on a tree which many claim closely resembles the mother of Jesus Christ.

Locals in Iowa, US first spotted the curious the six-foot tall tree last week, causing a sensation between believers and sceptics alike.

Sates-based news channel KEYE TV even reported that religious followers who live nearby have begun laying flowers at the feet of the Virgin Mary image, which some believe shows her holding a baby Jesus.

Scientists could argue that the image is simply a case of pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon where humans attempt to interpret nonsensical images or illusions.

Local Jennifer Naylor told KCCI news: “It makes me wonder how it got there.

KCCI 8 News Report from KCCI 8 News shows what appears to be the Virgin Mary on a tree trunk

“Was it struck by lightning?

“Was there a disease?

“You know, the flowers sitting there.

“So, I would say that other people are seeing the same thing I see.”

But what do you think?