What Is This?

By Sam Gibbs on at

This stunning image is something quite special, but what exactly is it? Are we looking at a close-up of the leathery skin of some ancient animal, or perhaps that same leathery skin made into a bag? Or perhaps the scale's deceptive and what we're really looking at here is the outer shell of some microscopic creepy crawly?

Not exactly, but the scale really is deceptive. What you're seeing above is actually a shot of the surface of Mars. Captured by NASA's HiRISE camera, it's an aerial view of the Moachis Terra region of the Red Planet, but it looks distinctly organic in nature.

Check out this stunning image and more over on the HiRISE project's Beautiful Mars Tumblr. [NASA via io9]