Another picture of a rock on Mars is being given the alien civilisation treatment. According to a video shared to YouTube, the unusual formation is the head of a statue of a warrior woman, similar to statues from ancient Egypt.
There’s only one problem: the reason it looks a bit like a head is due to a mental trick called pareidolia.
Joe White, of the ArtAlienTV – MARS ZOO Youtube channel, posted the video earlier this month. (We’re not going to link to it – if you want to see it, you can find it on your own.)
“I found what seems to be a small feminine looking statue head on Mars in Gale Crater in this recent Curiosity Rover image from NASA. Only a few inches in size or less,” White wrote in the video description.
“It resembles a carved depiction of a female warrior wearing a helmet similar to some found on Earth from the middle ages. It has a possible emblem on the forehead and some very interesting facial features that look almost Egyptian in artistic style.”
Several times over the last few years, rock formations on the Red Planet have excited the internet with the possibility of a civilisation on Mars – notably including the Mars Bigfoot, the Mars cannonball, the Mars spoon (yes you read that correctly) and the Mars “Assyrian god” (we’re not making any of these up).
Without exception, these are always debunked as pareidolia. This is a quirk of psychology in which the human mind searches for meaning in meaningless data; generally seeing faces where there actually aren’t any, such as in power points, or a pattern of tiles.
The most famous case on Mars is a 1976 picture that was famously dubbed the Face on Mars – what looked like an ancient monument depicting a human face.
But as our technology improved, higher resolution imaging showed what that “monument” really was – a natural mesa, with no face carved into it at all. At low resolutions, the “face” was just a trick of shadows.
White claims “This is one of hundreds of similar artefacts that I have found on Mars in recent years,” but rocks that look like faces don’t necessarily mean anything.
In addition, last year a NASA Mars project scientist was forced, before a US congress hearing, to deny that there was any evidence of a civilisation on Mars. Which he did.
“You have indicated that Mars was totally different thousands of years ago,” Republican Dana Rohrabacher said. “Is it possible that there was a civilisation on Mars thousands of years ago?”
Kenneth Farley, of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, replied that there is “no evidence that I’m aware of” of a lost Mars civilisation, and that such a civilisation is “extremely unlikely”.
We’re going to side with the scientists on this one.