A MYSTERIOUS ‘face’ has been spotted in the cliff-face near Avon Beach in Christchurch.

Patricia Golding was walking from Highcliffe to Avon Beach when she spotted the human-sized face imprinted into the rock underneath the Steamer Point Nature Reserve.

It is not known whether the face is a carving by an anonymous sculptor or just an example of pareidolia – a psychological phenomenon that causes people to see patterns in random objects.

Patricia said: “I have e-mailed the University of Southampton Geology Department to see if they have any ideas.

“As I’ve mentioned previously it’s not possible to get fossilised human heads, but I don’t think it’s been carved either.”

Star Wars fans have noted a resemblance to Harrison Ford’s Han Solo “frozen in carbonite” in the second entry of the franchise The Empire Strikes Back (1980).