Often in movies and comics characters wear a simple mask around the eyes, which seems successful at hiding their identities.

Examples would be Zorro, Green Lantern, Robin

Image source

Is there any evidence to suggest that a face being obscured in this way would prevent most people from recognizing the face?

Bonus question: What would be the minimum extent to which you could obscure a face and prevent positive identification?

  • 1
    Not an answer, but maybe interesting: Obscuring part of the face to avoid computer-based face recognition algorithms. – Oddthinking Feb 12 '12 at 4:23
  • I think a lot would depend on the face. If the mask e.g. hides a prominent scar, it would be more likely to hide one's identity than if one's face were pretty similar to those of the average person in the population. – jwenting Feb 12 '12 at 7:45
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    Has this ever been claimed outside of a fantasy movie? – DJClayworth Feb 13 '12 at 4:21
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    @djc yes, that seems to have been their purpose - "The mask would permit the wearer to act more freely in cases where he or she wanted to interact with other members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention." – Sonny Ordell Feb 14 '12 at 2:39
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    Eyemasks are described in that article and were used to hide identity. It doesn't matter that most of the masks were fuller masks. – Sonny Ordell Feb 14 '12 at 9:55

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