Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Martian pareidolia

"An Elephant on Mars? At Least According to This NASA Photo"


Erica Ho

April 9th, 2012


NASA managed to snag this unique picture of an elephant-shaped lava flow on Mars in the Elysium Planitia sector of the planet. Located on a Martian plain known for displaying some of the planet’s youngest lava flows, this flow may have occurred within the past 100 million years – a relatively short time in the planet’s history. The Red Planet is largely believed to be relatively inactive at present day.

University of Arizona planetary geologist Alfred McEwen told MSNBC:

“Most lava floods on Earth are emplaced over years to decades, and this is probably true for much of the lava on Mars as well. An elephant can walk away from the slowly advancing flow front. However, there is also evidence for much more rapidly flowing lava on Mars, a true flood of lava. In this instance, maybe this elephant couldn’t run away fast enough.”

As for the elephant? It’s a classic case of pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon where human brains see familiar objects in random shapes. It is also the same reason why people often see bunnies and animals in the clouds. And Mars often gets wacky images associated with it — think little green men.

pareidolia [Wikipedia]


nikto said...

If you think that photo is interesting, check out this one,
taken by the Mars Global Surveyor around 1999 or so...


Mercury said...


The "Glass Worm"


nikto said...

The so-called "Glass Worm" has very distinct branch-offs that resemble veins within a living body.

That does not seem to square with the insistence that the tubular structure is concave. There seem to be shadows thrown by the tube formation which would not occur with anything but a CONVEX form.

I read an explanation of the tube (and other tube-like forms) on Mars as possibly being giant fulghurites,
created by planetary-size lightening bolts, perhaps generated by a great explosion/collission that Mars was close to.

One side of Mars is "scarred", as if it faced some cataclism directly, and was blasted by the event.
The other side of Mars does not have this.

Sometimes, I think some folks are so quick to discredit Mr. Hoagland's
ideas hat they accept inadequate explanations just to deny his theories.

Hoagland was talking about water on Mars years and years before the scientific community came around to being comfortable with the idea.

I must say, however, I find the business abut "the face" to be

To me, the tubes are the main focus of fascination.

There are also other pictures of spiral structures that seem to be broken-down tubes revealing an inner spiral matrix of some kind.

The most honest thing that can be said about it at this point is that the tubes are an intriguing mystery that spur the imagination.

I don't buy the "concave" sand dune argument.
The tubes display more complexity than that.


Mercury said...

Citing Hoagland regarding anything scientific is a huge mistake. Science is empirical and follows a rigid scientific methodology...Hoagland is nothing but conjecture and speculation driven by an active imagination.

Mercury said...

See the last part of the post...more pareidolia.

It's not what's for dinner: Pasta covered in pepper and parsley.

It's not breakfast either: Croissants.

They are Martian sand dunes thawing in June of this year in the North Polar region. The dark spots: Maybe rocks.

Mars Global Surveyor [MGS] Mars Orbiter Camera [MOC] image.