Five of the most mysterious photographs from Mars.

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Mars is one of the most mysterious and amazing planets in the solar system. Mars rovers and satellites sent there repeatedly sent strange and mysterious photographs to Earth, which at first amazed even scientists. Ufologists and supporters of the theory of the existence of intelligent life on Mars, which is hiding from us, were usually delighted with this. Therefore, in this article we will figure out what is hidden behind the five most mysterious photographs of Mars.

These, so to speak, “forest belts” near the North Pole of Mars were photographed by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in April 2008, and at the end of 2015 the image was published by NASA in the Astronomy Picture of the Day section. This photo looks more like an abstract painting or dark trees that rise from the surface of Mars.

The dark brown veins are indeed very similar to tree trunks, but in reality they are just an optical illusion. Scientists believe that these «trees» are the result of the melting of dry ice (a solid form of carbon dioxide) at the top of the dunes. This process exposes brown sand that leaves strange footprints as it slides down the dune slopes, giving the illusion of trees.

In 2016, the Curiosity rover took this photograph of the surface of Mars. Among the rocks and debris, one could see the fossilized remains of a fish with a forked tail. Ufologists were indescribable delight from such a find. After all, there are many assumptions that Mars even had a real ocean of liquid water.

But NASA quickly disappointed everyone. It turned out that this «fish» is actually an ordinary stone, and its strange shape is just a play of light and shadow.

These spoons, photographed by the rovers, were also a play of light and shadow. All these stones are the result of the impact on the Martian soil of various atmospheric and even space phenomena, such as: winds, radiation, ultraviolet light, temperature changes, etc. Also, as mentioned earlier, scientists do not exclude the fact that water in a liquid state could once exist on Mars, so it could well influence the geology of this planet and carve stones of various shapes.

The familiar face on Mars, photographed by the Viking 1 station in 1976, led to the emergence of a large number of pseudoscientific and ufological theories about ancient Martian civilizations. Many books have been written about this and several films have been shot.

Scientists have studied the shape of this mountain for a long time and it turned out that this is just the result of the interaction of rocks with various natural phenomena, and not an artificial object. The specific shape of the mountain, the play of light and shadow, as well as our rich imagination drew a picture of a face for us. Scientists have long presented a photo of this object in high resolution and under different lighting conditions to everyone (example photo below), but ufologists still continue to study photographs from forty years ago.

This photo was taken in 2007 by the Spirit rover. Some UFO blogs have published many articles about this so-called «female figure — a monument made by aliens», while others wrote about the female Bigfoot. But common sense tells us that this is an optical illusion, similar to a human silhouette.

All the above-mentioned objects, photographed on the surface of Mars, are a good example of pareidolia — a visual illusion in which a person perceives an inexpressive and incomprehensible visual or even auditory image as something distinct and definite. The same effect works when we peer into the shapes of the clouds and see figures of people or animals there.

Author: Alexey Nimchuk. Edited by Fedor Karasenko.

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