If you’ve never wondered if aliens really exist, did you even have a childhood?
And it seems like something that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) found recently left many people bringing up the question of whether or not there really are aliens again.
Earlier this month on 7 May, NASA’s Mars rover, called Curiosity, was surveying the surroundings of Mount Sharp.
Mount Sharp is a planet on Mars.
Thereafter, a photo that the rover took caught the attention of avid space lovers all around the world.
The photo featured a rectangular-shaped opening that looked like a doorway, and some immediately jumped to the conclusion that there really could be aliens on Mars, assuming that the doorway was there due to the presence of aliens who used them.
However, it seems like we’re probably not going to get a meet-and-greet from the aliens on Mars soon, because it’s apparently not a doorway.
“Doorway” is Actually a Fracture in a Rock
According to science and technology website Gizmodo, the unique sight that left many intrigued is simply “just a fracture in a rock”.
Ashwin Vasavada, who is a project scientist in the Mars Science Laboratory, mentioned that the doorway-looking feature was actually formed through the ancient sand dunes that fused together over time.
Sand Dunes on Mars
Based on how the sand that Mars has on its surface shifts, its sand dunes are constantly being buried and reburied.
This continuous process may result in the fracture of compacted layers. This is due to the varying pressure put on them, and these fractures usually occur vertically.
The rectangular-shaped structure, which is around 30cm in height, was caused by a fracture like that.
According to Vasavada, there are two possible ways in which the structure was formed.
Firstly, two vertical structures could have resulted in the disconnection of the centrepiece.
Alternatively, a single vertical fracture could have occurred, and “the blocks moved apart a little bit” after that.
Not the First Time Humans Thought that They Saw Aliens
Given our human nature, our eyes sometimes tend to mistake objects for things we are familiar with when presented with a foreign environment.
Back in the 19th century, some insisted that there were canals on the surface of Mars, and that they were constructed by smart creatures.
The claims were later proven to be untrue.
More recently in 1976, NASA’s Viking 1 probe captured a huge rock formation. The formation had features that looked like a human face and had eyes, a nose and a mouth.
Since then, that photo has been often used to explain pareidolia, a psychological occurrence in humans where we incline toward identifying faces in objects that are actually inanimate.
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