The Curiosity Mars Rover continues to rove the surface of Mars and take pictures of anomalies that defy imagination, defy previous discoveries and even defy gravity. Recent photographs show what looks like a giant crab, a stone that appears to be floating above the ground and moose and elk antler-shaped rocks with a unique composition never before seen on Mars.
The photograph of the strange crab-shaped object hanging on a cliff has generated a lot of speculation since NASA posted it on its site. The arms or tentacles and oval body make it look like a crab, a spider or an octopus. Its position on the cliff or wall makes some believe it’s blocking or guarding an entrance to a dwelling, portal or cave. If you think of the tentacles as rays, it somewhat resembles a sun god symbol. Whatever it is, it seems improbable that this intricate and unusual shape could be made by wind and erosion.
The levitating stone is one of those images that makes you go “Hmm.” It’s unusually round and orbish, causing some to think it’s a UFO. There appears to be a shadow underneath where it’s floating, but the optical illusionists say it’s just a second rock and the distorted perspective of the photograph makes them look like a floater and its shadow. There have been other similar photos of levitating objects on the Red Planet. Whatever they are, “The Distorted Perspectives” would be a great name for a Martian rock band.
Curiosity is not just looking for Martian animals – it’s actually conducting experiments and what it found when analyzing rocks called Elk and Lamoose is pretty exciting. NASA sent Curiosity back to these antler-shaped rocks for a second look and discovered they contain a high level of silica – silicon and oxygen – which is found on Earth as quartz. This is significant because silica can trap and preserve ancient organic materials so they can be studied later – similar to how amber preserved prehistoric insects and plants on Earth.
Will we find crabs in the silica? Or an ancient Martian wizard who levitated a ball right before getting encased in silica and never having the chance to bring it back to the ground? Whatever the case, these discoveries on Mars stimulate both scientific analysis and imagination.