It sounds like you ran it through a filter, or a small image was blown up to larger size.
Brightness and contrast will do odd things to images, also - sometimes when a pic is re-sized it has to be resampled so that the resolution is clear. Much of what I know is from trying different things after saying to myself "Oh no! What happened?"
"I always keep some spirits handy, in case I see a snake (which I also keep handy)"
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