“Alien Skull” on Mars

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Are you kidding?!

Guys. That’s a rock. A chunk of vesicular basalt to be specific. As far as pareidolia goes, it’s not even very good! I had to stare for a while before I saw a face. The human brain loves to see familiar shapes in everything, so it’s pretty easy to find examples of rocks on Mars that look like anything you want. Here, take a look at this annotated picture of Mars put together by Eric Hartwell over at the Unmanned Spaceflight forum. Mars is apparently crawling with various forms of life! (click for a larger version)

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Explore posts in the same categories: Astrobiology, Fun Stuff, Geology, Pictures, Skepticism

6 Comments on ““Alien Skull” on Mars”

  1. equinox Says:

    Hi, I am one of the two people “quoted” in the Telegraph article. The telegraph chose to obscure their source on what was obviously a slow news day for them. The original source is http://www.marsroverblog.com/discuss-128917-whos-this-bloke-on-mars.html from the Mars Rover Blog – a really cool, but mostly scholarly blog reviewing the geological and cosmological discoveries made by the Mars Rovers. But they took a break one day for some humor.

    Please, no one ever seriously believed it was really a head! Do I actually have to say that? Yes, I do, because now, the internet pipeline has picked up the Telegraph’s unreferenced story and insanity has busted loose. Now, apparently we are either 1)Roswell ufo “experts” seriously discussing this “discovery” 2) disturbed scare-mongers out to terrify everyone or 3) government agents set on distracting the populace with stories of aliens on mars while robot drones are being launched into the cities of the world. I kid you not. I’m just amazed at how a bit of satire has spawned such nuttiness.

  2. Ryan Says:

    Thanks for commenting here! I’ve visited the Mars Rover Blog before and it’s a great site. Looking at the original post, it’s pretty clear to me that it’s all in good fun. It’s a shame that this is the sort of stuff that gets hyped up by sensationalist newspapers like the Telegraph while all the amazing discoveries slip by with little interest.

    It’s also a shame how eager people are to hear things like this and just write off people interested in space as ufo nut-jobs. That’s why stories like this get traction: people like someone to smirk at, and the Telegraph provides it by failing to cite the original post, which as you say is clearly a joke on an otherwise serious blog.

    Oh well, I guess the best we can do is use this as a “teachable moment” about pareidolia.

  3. valhalla Says:

    Skulls on Mars?

    Big deal.

    Try the Virgin Mary on a griddle, being stared at by two wrestlers in full costume:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30508304/

    In case you are still wondering why aliens are not contacting us, wonder no more.

  4. Ryan Says:

    Yeah, saw that linked on Bad Astro. That’s a pretty amazing picture… but not in a good way.

  5. aquatic Says:

    Not everyone is convinced that Mars is srerile!
    The Mars atmosphere would be beneficial to plants and oxigen producers may be in close proximity to other organism. In the absence of suitable cover any more complex lifeform would need to disguise as a rock.This would be an effective strategy as our ability to distiguise faces is only beaten by our ability to recognise rock in any form,it even makes us overlook a few million tons of water in any form!!
    Regards from aquatic

  6. regi Says:

    wow fantastic


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