MORE MARS ANOMALIES: BONES, OR AT LEAST, A BONEY STRUCTURE?
There's been another "sighting" of strange stuff on Mars, this time once again by NASA's Curiosity rover near Gale Crater on Mars, a site - lest it be forgotten - that has seen more than its fair share of pictures showing some very strange stuff. But get a load of the pictures in this article shared by T.M.:
What is interesting to me about this latest anomaly isn't so much the anomaly itself (which we'll get back to) but rather the comments about it from NASA's experts, and the comments about it from "average ordinary people" that the article records. For example, here are the NASA experts, after the article first notes that the Gale crater is thought to be a dried up lake bed from a lake billions of years ago:
Gale is thought to be an ancient dried up lake between 3.5 and 3.8 billion years old.
Astrobiologist Nathalie A. Cabrol shared a photo of it on Twitter, commenting that 'in 20 years of studying Mars, that's the most bizarre rock I have ever seen.
'I cannot wait to have a microscopic image of this one.'
Another user commented: 'Really strange, never seen something like this and I have been looking into Mars images since Sojourner mission back in 1997.'
There you have it: the best word that NASA's scientists can come up with is "strange," while they carefully avoid the rather obvious observations of what the laymen cited in the article state about it:
Other online guesses include 'it looks like a very easy to crumble fish vertebra', 'fish fossils', 'mackerel fillet', and 'skeleton of some prehistoric creature'.
Twitter user @Dottysaccount said: 'On earth that would be a fossil plant say a fir tree branch or fish backbone, difficult for it to be a natural rock formation.'
While @KiltedGunnGamer wrote: 'I'm happy to believe that's the back of a fossilised Martian dragon, curled up in its final resting place.'
Then we get the usual "it's all just natural" explanation, with a new and added twist of irrationality that if one leaves well enough alone for long enough, the chimpanzees at the typewriters will actually compose a novel by pure random chance, and the Martian surface will produce all sorts of shapes including things that look artificial or like fossils:
Twitter user Martin Weil said: 'If it blows over loose sand for a sufficiently large number of eons, every geometric form known to us may eventually be created.'
As you might have guessed, I am in the middle category: to me the little spikes look for all the world like the fossilized remains of some sort of living creature. The "spikes" or "bones" - if indeed they are that - appear to be regularly spaced, and moreover, of a fairly consistent length as well. I am at a loss, quite frankly, to find what sorts of geological processes might produce such a phenomenon. About the only thing that mitigates against this being some form of fossil is that these "bones" or "spikes" appear on a much larger mass that appears to have an abrupt ending, almost a kind of fracture, as if it was a part of a structure, rather than a part of an animal.
The bottom line here is, that we are looking at something anomalous and non-random; we are looking at structure, be it artificial, or fossil.
But there's two more possibilities as well, and they're revealed by this little comment from the article which appears as a caption to one of the pictures of the "Spiky Martian Thing":
The pictures were taken using Curiosity's mast camera and ChemCam on Martian day Sol 3786, or April 1, and have sparked speculation online as to what they may depict. (Emphasis added)
Taking a picture of a Spiky Martian Thing on April 1st could be someone's sick idea of a bad April Fools' Day joke, and it's not as if NASA (Never A Straight Answer a.k.a. Not A Space Agency) has never lied before. Or maybe - like the original Viking photo of The Martian Face at Cydonia - someone decided to cloud the issue by releasing a genuine picture, but on April Fools' Day. "See? It can't be real because the picture was snapped on April Fools' Day!" Whew! That was close! Another Martian anomaly bullet dodged! Huge sigh of relief.
So for the moment, I'm going with "it's a genuine picture" of a "Spiky Martian Thing" that is "Genuinely Anomalous" and "Either a Fossil or Something Artificial." You can add it to the growing list of anomalies and structures of some sort on the surface of our planetary neighbor that NASA refuses to discuss in those terms.
NASA doesn't even bother any more trying to manage the narrative and spin the anomalies into the ridiculous chimpanzees typing for billions of years finally produced a novel, because you can tell that that "there's a purely natural explanation" narrative is becoming tired and shopworn when the best word they can come up with now is just the word "strange." We're way past the "tricks of light and shadow" and all the attempted scientismistic explanations of the early days of Mars anomalies explanations. Now they don't even bother. They just give us a tired shrug of the shoulders, and say "it's strange." What began as a trickle of anomalies with the Cydonia Face has grown into a catalogue of anomalies in pictures and a whole internet community tracking them, and NASA has simply and for the moment lost the argument on the disparate interpretations of such pictures. NASA's explanations, in short, carry about as much weight with the broader public as the Warren Report carries any weight as an explanation of the Kennedy assassination.
See you on the flip side...
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