Another mysterious feature discovered in various photographs taken by the Curiosity rover has led some people to fantasise about alien civilizations on Mars.
The red planet –the fourth planet from the Sun and Earth’s cousin world– is one of the most fascinating places in the solar system. The reason? Because this not-so-distant world is the closest thing to our planet.
Decades ago, Mars was always a desolate, barren world, where life could never have flourished.
However, and thanks to many missions to the red planet such as Perseverance, Curiosity, and HOPE among others, we have discovered in the last ten years that Mars was a planet home to vast oceans, river systems, and lakes. In other words, scientists now believe that billions of years ago, Mars met the necessary requirements for life to have existed and perhaps flourished on its surface.
A Martian mystery
Throughout the years, the various scientific missions on Mars have provided us with lots of information about the red planet’s past, but also a plethora of photographs taken from orbit and the Martian surface. For example, ingenuity — the first helicopter to fly on a distant world– has provided us with incredible images of the Martian landscape as seen from above.
The Curiosity and Perseverance rover have also done their job in their photographic missions to document the Martian landscape as best as possible.
From time to time, these photographs show strange aspects of Mars.
A recent photograph beamed back from Mars shows a curious opening on the Martian rocky surface. Users on Twitter and Facebook have already dubbed it “the entrance to Mars” and claimed it is the ultimate evidence of ancient alien life on Mars.
The photographs in question, which have already made their way to news outlets around the world were sourced from the official NASA website. The images were taken on May 7 by the Curiosity rover and appear to show the entrance to a shelter dug into a hillside on Mars.
The red planet has introduced us to numerous mysterious anomalies seen in its photographs. However, these anomalies are –most of the time– the result of pareidolia, making us see familiar forms such as pyramids and domes to stones with “eyes.” Pareidolia is the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.
The latest “Martian anomaly” seems to show what looks like an entrance or door with alleged artificial features.
Entrance to Mars
There are various photographs showing the alleged entrance to Mars. The Curiosity rover’s Mastcam snapped the first on Sol 3466 (2022-05-07T07:57:46.000Z) on the rim of Gale Crater, and it looks like this:
The second photograph of the “anomaly” was taken by the same camera on Sol 3466 (2022-05-07 07:58:16 UTC):
Another version of the curious feature on Mars — a colorized and possibly better resolution image– can be found on the GigaPan website.
Is this really the ultimate evidence of an ancient alien civilization on Mars? The answer is no and what we see here is another example of pareidolia and an optical illusion combined with shadow play, generated by the natural fracture of the rock due to some natural phenomenon in the remote past.
Also, since it is impossible for people to judge the size of the alleged entrance based on this photograph, it is easy to come up with theories of alien civilizations and stonemasons on Mars. According to the team behind the rover, the “entrance” is no more than a few centimeters across. So, unless the Minions live on Mars, this is likely just another curious geological feature on the red planet.
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