"Floating Spoon" Found on Mars

By James O Malley on at

The Mars Curiosity Rover has spotted something rather unexpected on the red planet: a floating spoon.

Well, sort of, anyway. The photo was taken by Curiosity on Sol 1089 (that's a day in the Martian calendar) and spotted by a member of the Unmanned Spaceflight Forum.

Discovery explains that of course, it is actually a rock, and a good example of pareidolia: objects which the human brain fools itself into seeing things that aren't there because of our predisposition to spot patterns. It is the same reason that we sometimes think we've seen the face of Jesus on a slice of toast, or a face on the Martian surface.

Given that Curiosity has shot thousands of photos of rock formations since it landed in 2012, seeing formations that look familiar was pretty much inevitable.

Crazily though, it might not be camera trickery. The 'spoon' really could be overhanging like that. Apparently it is possible on Mars due to the lack of atmosphere and low gravity, which enables the wind to sculpt objects much more finely than on Earth.

Now if only there was a viable plan to get to Mars so we could check it out close-up for ourselves. [Discovery]