The latest news about Mars involves an astonishing NASA image that trended heavily on the Internet over the weekend. Dare we say, the "crab-like" formation has many people bewildered. 

The image was taken from one of the Mars Rovers [Spirit and Opportunity]. Some say it resembles a crustacean, the type seen back here on Earth, but of monstrous proportions. 

The structure sits at the folds or entrance of a cave in the midst of an outcropping of rocks or hills. Whatever it is, extraterrestrial conspiracy theorists swear by their eyes and say it's definitive proof of life on Mars -- and NASA is simply covering up the truth. 

However, one expert dismisses the NASA Mars image claims. Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer and Director of the Center for SETI Research, says there is a logical explanation. Weekly, he receives images similar to this one, and each time he has a similar reply.

"Those that send them to me are generally quite excited, as they claim that these frequently resemble SOMETHING you wouldn't expect to find on the rusty, dusty surface of the Red Planet. It's usually some sort of animal, but occasionally even weirder objects such as automobile parts. Maybe they think there are cars on Mars."

Shostak says it's simply a phenomenon called pareidolia. It's when the brain makes shapes out of random objects. How many times have you seen a face in the clouds or a horse and chariot?
"Far from being a vision defect, pareidolia has a lot of survival value if you need to quickly spot predators in the jungle, for instance."
He then attempted to put the rumors to bed with this explanation.
"Recognizing a crab in a landscape filled with wind-weathered rocks is no more surprising -- nor more significant -- than seeing a winking face in a semi-colon followed by a parenthesis. ;) "
While the NASA image from Mars is quite impressive, it's likely the brain at work playing tricks on you -- again. 

About the Rover Mission to Mars:

"NASA's twin robot geologists, the Mars Exploration Rovers, launched toward Mars on June 10 and July 7, 2003, in search of answers about the history of water on Mars. They landed on Mars January 3 and January 24 PST, 2004 (January 4 and January 25 UTC, 2004).

"The Mars Exploration Rover mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet."

While people are obsessing over the latest image that suggests some crab monster is lurking around up there, the space agency uncovered something else interesting on Mars: "Frost."

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  1. NASA......Never A Straight Answer ,of course NASA is hiding stuff from us !


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