WEIRD NEWS

Want To Live On Mars? This Might Be Your Best Bet

Just a typical day of photographs from the red planet.

12/02/2015 08:38 am ET | Updated Dec 02, 2015
Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

This might not look like the best place to live on Mars, but at least it resembles a dwelling of some kind.

The Mars Opportunity rover has taken a picture that seems to reveal a dome-like structure, overlooking a vast terrain of rocks and dirt on the mysterious red planet.

Opportunity's panoramic camera, Pancam, captured the intriguing image on July 10, 2015. Keen-eyed ET hunters continually pour through thousands of pictures taken by traveling Martian rovers, and over the past few years, many have claimed such images show a variety of non-natural objects on Mars' surface. (See accompanying slideshows at the bottom of this story.) 

Of course, NASA and mainstream astronomers aren't the least bit convinced that any of these images are what they might look like, nor can they be considered proof of an ancient, once-thriving civilization.

Official explanations have run the gamut from odd-shaped rocks to unusual-looking ground formations due to natural erosion processes or tricks of light and shadows.

Basically, "Nothing to see here -- move along."

Adding to the mystery is another "structure" -- looking like a smaller dome, sitting on the hill to the right of the larger one.

Here's the original NASA/JPL raw image of the environment in front of the hill where the dome(s) can be seen. 

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

If we really want to crank up the speculation after-burner, let's look at two objects in the foreground of the official NASA dome image -- objects that might appear to some as, well, heads.

Nobody else seems to have noticed and reported this, so we'll go out on a Martian limb and be the first. Do you think these look like humanoid heads? This is how rumors get started -- unless, of course, it's not just a rumor.

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Finally, not to be outdone by the Opportunity rover, one of its mechanical counterparts, Curiosity, has snapped a picture that might lead some to believe Mars has a rodent infestation problem. A BIG one.

On Jan. 11, 2014, Curiosity was near Gale Crater on Mars, snapping pictures of the following scene:

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

A closer look at the large, dark object inside the red circle reveals the following rodent-like item:

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

According to The New York Post, amateur astronomer Joe White says the image does look like "a possible gigantic mouse or other rodent on Mars ... sitting on a ridge, plain as day." But on his YouTube ArtAlienTV channel, he adds that the mouse is "probably an optical illusion but seems to have big ears, nose and eyes visible. Estimated size: two to three feet."

Anybody interested in a one-way ticket to the red planet?

Martian UFOs: Rocks Or Camera Glitches?
  • "Face On Mars"
    NASA/JPL
  • It doesn't get more classic than this. The Viking 1 spacecraft spotted this "Face on Mars" in 1976. Since then it's been featured in movies and TV shows. When the Mars Global Surveyor flew over and snapped sharper photos in 1998, the face was seen for what it really is: simply a mesa.
  • Iguana
    UFO Sighting Daily
  • NASA's Curiosity rover captured this cutie on Mars in January 2013. The rock does bear a remarkable likeness to an iguana -- it's got a tail, dewlap and even an "eye." But again, this is just a rock.
  • Finger
    NASA/JPL
  • Curiosity captured this "finger" in 2012, and we can definitely see the resemblance to a human digit -- it even has what looks like a fingernail. But it's a rock. A rock, people!
  • Woman
    NASA/JPL
  • When the Mars rover Spirit captured this image of a human-like figure in 2007, alien enthusiasts hoped it might finally be a sign of alien life on the red planet. Scientists' verdict? Rock.
  • "Mars Rat"
    NASA/JPL
  • The "Mars rat" was found in a March 2013 image from the Curiosity rover. The rat took the Internet by storm -- and even got its own Twitter account. So, rock or tech-savvy rat?... It's just. A rock. For over a hundred years, you have searched for life in the universe and all you found was me! Prepare for the Mars Rat invasion!!— Mars Rat (@RealMarsRat) May 30, 2013
  • Thigh Bone
    NASA/JPL
  • Last month, alien enthusiasts claimed to have found a "thigh bone" in an image taken on Mars. Again. We're going with rock.
  • Skull
    NASA/JPL/Cornell
  • Spooky! This skull-like object was spotted in an image taken by the rover Spirit in 2006. Similar "skulls" have been spotted in subsequent rover images -- including a bird and a T. rex. Even an "alien's skull" was spotted. The verdict? ALL ROCKS.
  • Mysteriously Appearing Donut
    NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • When a rock shaped like a jelly doughnut mysteriously appeared in front of the Opportunity rover in January 2014, everyone wondered how it got there. Was it dropped there by an alien cop on his coffee break? Nope. According to NASA, the rover flicked it into its own path.
  • Helmet
    NASA/JPL
  • Bloggers spotted this "helmet" or "bowler hat" in a 2013 Curiosity photo. It's definitely a rock.
  • Door Handle
    NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • This mysterious metallic-looking object that showed up in a Curiosity photo in 2013 may look like it flew off an alien's door. But according to NASA, it's just a hard, fine-grained rock that was "polished" by the wind.
  • Flower
    NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems
  • This "flower" was spotted in a 2012 Curiosity photo. It's definitely not biological, but planetary scientist Aileen Yingst did tell Space.com that she would "hesitate to say what it is."
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