When China’s Yutu 2 rover spotted a mysterious cube-shaped “hut” on the moon, theories began spreading like wildfire, especially the thought of it possibly being an alien base. The rover began traveling towards the unexplained object in order to determine what exactly it was and the results are in.
The rover noticed the object on the horizon in December and the image was released by the China National Space Administration through the Weixin website. The rover then made its way towards the object. It seemed so much larger while looking at it from a distance, but as Yutu 2 got closer to it, it was actually a lot smaller than originally anticipated. Additionally, it wasn’t cube-shaped at all and had more of a rounded shape. When it finally reached its destination, the rover took images of the object and sent them back to Earth.
That’s when the team realized that the mysterious object was just a rabbit-shaped rock that looked as though it was eating some “carrots” as there were smaller rocks located in front of it. What’s even funnier is that there were a few tiny round-shaped rocks behind it which looked like bunny poo. The Yutu 2 rover team even gave it the nickname of “jade rabbit”, which is interestingly what “Yutu” translates to.
While the bunny-shaped rock is certainly cute, many people are deeply disappointed that it is not an alien base as stated on Twitter by space journalist Andrew Jones, “The Moon's surface is 38 million square kilometres of rocks, so it would have been astronomically exceptional for it to be anything else.” “But while small, the jade rabbit/玉兔 rock will also be a monumental disappointment to some.”
Now that the “hut” mystery has been solved, the rover will continue studying the large Von Kármán crater. Even though we did get a good laugh at the alien-base-turned-bunny-rock mystery, the Yutu 2 rover’s mission has been going very well since landing on the moon in 2019 with approximately 1,000 meters of the lunar surface explored so far. In fact, it is the first rover to investigate the far side of the moon and it is still going strong.
There are no aliens living on the moon – at least none that we have found thus far. But an adorable bunny-shaped rock is just as exciting, right? Perhaps not. Nevertheless, pictures of the rabbit-shaped rock can be viewed here.