In its search for ancient, wet environments on the slopes of Mount Sharp, NASA’s Curiosity Rover has encountered a strange feature which looks like a ‘floating spoon’ on the surface of the red planet. The new image cause many people to speculate what the object might be.
There is no spoon. This weird Mars feature is likely a ventifact—a rock shaped by wind.
said NASA in a Twitter post.
NASA’s scientists have, already, rejected the claim of a floating spoon. They explained that: the peculiar environment of Mars can produce such bizzare geological formation in the rocky surface of the red planet. Actually, by looking closely, you can see how this spoon-piece is jutting out from a larger rock formation.
Naturally, a lot of things on Mars look like those here on Earth but its just a mind-trick. This example is a form of apophenia, scietists explained. It means that people see patterns or connections in random, unconnected data.
Human eyes can spot faces within their environment and it helps them recognise friends in a crowd, work out how fast a car is travelling, and see patterns.
Seth Shostak said.
we also tend to use this ability to enrich our imagination and recognise meaningful shapes, even when they’re not there.
Those that send [images] to me are generally quite excited, as they claim that these frequently resemble something you wouldn’t expect to find on the rusty, dusty surface of the red planet,
It’s usually some sort of animal, but occasionally even weirder objects such as automobile parts. Maybe they think there are cars on Mars.
The image was captured by Curiosity Rover on Aug. 30. The weird fomation was brought to attention by a user on the Planetary Society’s Unmanned Spaceflight message board.
Curiosity is part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which landed on the planet on Aug. 5, 2012. Curiosity’s mission is to collect soil and rock samples to analyze them for organic compounds among other things.