Could a Mars rat actually exist? How about a lizard? A recent NASA photo has more than a few thinking that what thrives in abundance here on Earth might also have a toehold on the Red Planet. That’s all we need: Geico telling us how safe it is to drive on Mars or Mickey’s Martian cousin giving rise to the new Disney theme of “It’s a Small Solar System After All.”
The photo taken by Mars rover Curiosity’s MAST camera has the Internet abuzz with speculation, that’s for certain.
Yahoo 7 News reported May 31 that Scott C. Waring at UFO Sightings Daily is pushing the idea that NASA has inadvertently discovered a Martian rodent — or a lizard. But that was back in December.
But what has Waring — and now millions on the Internet — throwing out their best guesses is an oddly familiar shape that appears to be crouching on the planet’s surface in the midst of vast field of rocks. Waring, an admitted UFOlogist, admits he was not the original discoverer of the Mars lizard (or rat), acknowledging that it was found by someone in Japan in March. He prompts that Mars has limited amounts of water, which could possibly sustain “such desert animals,” then asks “… is NASA placing animals from tiny cyogenic chambers inside the rover onto the surface of Mars to conduct tests?”
But it is the second NASA photo with what looks like a rat in the frame. Under the title of “NASA almost makes historical announcement, but chickens out,” Waring posted in December that the image looks like a squirrel.
“Note its lighter color upper and lower eyelids, its nose and cheek areas, its ear, its front leg and stomach. Looks similar to a squirrel camouflaged in the stones and sand by its colors. Hey, who doesn’t love squirrels, right?”
He also posted a picture of a somewhat camouflaged squirrel to drive his point home.
To get an idea of what it took to discover the images — whether they be rat, squirrel, lizard, or just a plain old rock — can be seen by looking at the rock-strewn landscape in the original NASA photo, “Rocknest.”
He suggests that this is what was meant when a NASA scientist made headlines for saying there was a major discovery on Mars but then admitted that he may have spoken too soon.
Still, it seems highly doubtful that any form of rodent or lizard exists on Mars’ surface, given what is known about its geological make-up and an atmosphere that is over 95 percent carbon dioxide, not to mention almost non-existent magnetic belts to ward off solar radiation.
Although life on Mars might exist, it is believed that it has its best chance underground. Sightings of creatures among the rocks are likely wishful thinking at best. Yet, there is a possibility…
However, these NASA images are most likely rocks, their rat- and lizard-like appearances simply the result of pareidolia, or the cognitive ability to produce familiar patterns and shapes out of random juxtapositionings of shapes, textures, and surfaces.
One thing can be said, though. The Mars lizard and Mars rat (squirrel) are far more credible likenesses than a bigfoot shambling across the Martian surface.