Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yet another "face" on Mars

Once again, people are seeing faces on Mars.

This time around the spotted "vision" comes from a researcher named Scott Waring. Waring has gone over photographs from NASA's Sojourner rover, first launched into space in 1996 and landing on Mars on July 5th, 1997. The image in question (seen above and enhanced by Waring) is claimed to depict a humanoid face, perhaps a carved statue fallen to the surface.

Just one month ago, another enthusiast pointed to an image from the Curiosity rover, believing the photo depicted something like a crocodile.

Of course there has been a long speculation of life on Mars, whether it be past or present. Recent discoveries indicating that the planet was quite wet at one time with flowing rivers and perhaps even seas has fueled yet more hopeful thinking that Mars once...even if in the distant past...harbored life, perhaps even a legitimate civilization. For more on the what constitute footprints of life or "biosignatures," click here. It's somewhat of a pessimistic view of the situation that I don't entirely agree with, but it's a factual breakdown nevertheless.

Sadly, the most likely explanation for any of these alleged "monuments" on Mars is something called "pareidolia."

Have you ever looked at clouds and derived images from them? Most of us know full well that we're not seeing a duck or the Bat Signal (unless you're me) actually made out of the clouds. Rather it is our mind trying to correlate what we're seeing with things we're already familiar with. What we're actually doing is inferring a connection amid a random set of data. Yet that connection does not exist. It's exactly this sort of thing that causes people to see Jesus in toast and the like. What's more, we can find many examples of such "faces in rocks" right here on Earth. Simple as that.

So why can't I let go of the idea of a former civilization on Mars? Maybe it really is the fact that it once had water. Maybe it's evidence piling up that there was at least microbial life at one point. Then there's the work of the late Mac Tonnies and his Cydonian Imperative. While wholly unscientific, all I can offer is a gut feeling. There might be something to this theory of an ancient civilization on Mars that once carved stone monuments just as we did and do and I'm not willing to entirely shut the door on this possibility.

That said, I think it's still safe to say no evidence for such a thing has been found in this current crop of stone faces and "crocodiles."

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  1. On FB, Peter said: "We probably used to live in Mars centuries ago, then we moved out of there because we killed the planet with pollution, and now we want to move back because we are killing this planet with pollution. And in a thousand years from now no one will ever remember that we lived on Earth. Hey, good plot for a book."