Oct 21, 2015 I Paul Seaburn

Mysterious Potholes on Pluto and Pyramids on its Moon

If there’s life on Pluto, it must have learned how to repair its roads by watching winter news reports from major U.S. cities on potholes. The latest images released by NASA of photos taken by the New Horizons interplanetary space probe show that part of the surface is covered with holes that look like potholes, pock marks or maybe something else ... tracks? Meanwhile, other photos of the surface of Pluto’s moon Charon show what look like the latest pyramids found in our solar system. Why didn’t the pyramid builders help Pluto’s pothole crews?

The potholes and troughs are found only in the Sputnik Planum, a plain measuring 20 km (12 miles) across. Some descriptions liken them to footprints in snow or wormholes in a log, but the actual Plutonian potholes are up to 1,000 feet wide and a few hundred feet deep. The unofficial cause from NASA is that ice on or in the surface heats quickly, skips liquefying and goes right to vaporization, leaving the big holes behind. What this doesn’t explain is why the holes are found only in the Sputnik Planum. NASA says they’re not impact craters. Could they be caused by something else?

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Pyramids on Charon

The pyramids on Charon were spotted in photos taken on July 12th by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard the New Horizons probe. NASA said the images were of the canyons of the Serenity Chasma and the plains of Vulcan Planum. The camera can see images as small as 310 meters so these structures are quite large. They join the other pyramids discovered recently on Mars, the dwarf planet Ceres and Comet P67.

What caused the potholes in the plain on Pluto? Why are pyramids continuing to show up throughout our solar system? What else will we find? Have they found us first?

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A composite image of Charon (rear) and Pluto

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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