Over the past week, the internet has gone wild over images of what appears to be a doorway carved into a cliff on Mars.
But the scientists behind NASA’s Curiosity rover, which took the photos earlier this month, said that while the strange doorway-like feature on Mars provides a fascinating ‘doorway to the ancient past’ , she is perfectly natural rather than the work of some hidden aliens. .
The Curiosity rover found the “gateway” to Mars on May 7 by imaging a mound known as East Cliffs in Gale Crater, which the rover has explored since landing in 2012. The rover used its Mastcam instrument to take the l he image of the strange crack, which is only 12 inches (30 centimeters) high and 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide, NASA said in a statement. Obviously, humans would have difficulty entering the cliff through this “gate”, which is why the NASA team dubbed it only the “dog gate”.
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“These types of open fractures are common in bedrock, both on Earth and on Mars,” NASA said in the release.
Commenting on the internet frenzy surrounding the discovery of the “gateway”, the Curiosity team said on Twitter that a human brain’s tendency to search for patterns that make sense in ambiguous forms (called “pareidolia”) is at the origin of the internet sensation.
“Sure, it may look like a small doorway, but in reality, it’s a natural geological feature! It may just *look* like a doorway because your mind is trying to make sense of the unknown,” said the Curiosity team. in a Twitter thread. “There are several linear fractures in the mound, but here several fractures intersect, allowing the rock to break at such acute angles.”
The team, however, added that while they don’t expect a sensational discovery of an alien civilization behind the dog’s door, the eerie crack will provide exciting opportunities for new science.
“In a less literal sense, my science team is interested in these rocks as a ‘gateway’ to the ancient past,” the team said.
Given the recent resurgence of interest in Unidentified Flying Objects, it’s likely that not everyone will be satisfied with this explanation.
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