Are crazy octopus aliens hiding out on Mars?

Is this where Crab People come from?

Photo Credit: South Park Studios

Or is that maybe a sideways Sarlacc pit?

Photo Credit: Star Wars

Probably not.

I think that person did some Photoshopping.

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Here’s NASA’s original photo:

Photo Credit: NASA

I did a bit of cropping:

Photo Credit: DYK/NASA

And brightening:

Photo Credit: DYK/NASA

And I still don’t end up with an alien.

It definitely looks weird, but I’m not seeing an alien.

People have been seeing aliens in things for ages:

Photo Credit: Bedlam

There’s a name for the phenomenon. In fact your brain is to blame for all of this…

Things like this:

Photo Credit: NASA

That’s a 1976 photo taken from the Viking 1 explorer of the surface of Mars.

Enough people saw a face that NASA made it a priority to snap a new photo at 10x the resolution of the 1976 image 25 years later from the Mars Global Surveyor:

Photo Credit: MSS/NASA

If you squint, you can still kind of see the face…

Why does your brain think there are aliens or objects in these photos?

There is a spooky phenomenon known as Pareidolia, which is the tendency of the brain to see familiar shapes—especially faces—emerging from random patterns. One of the most famous examples was J.C. Penney’s disastrously ill-designed Adolf Hitler teapot. This phenomenon is also the reason we see faces in the random patterns of tiles or toast.

This Pareidolia phenomenon deeply rooted in us as humans. As an infant, humans focus on faces early to spot danger easily—trying to find other menacing humans or animals. The Greek root of Pareidolia translates roughly to “wrong image.”

Check out this naked lady:

Photo Credit: Jordan Davis

Yeah. It’s just a tree.

I bet you’d like God to give me the middle finger right now:

Photo Credit: STSI

That’s part of the Hubble’s image of the Keyhole Nebula:

Photo Credit: STSI

Which is located within the much larger expanse known as the Carina Nebula:

Photo Credit: HST/NASA/ESA

Is it harder to imagine that these really are an octopus-alien:

Photo Credit: DYK/NASA

A giant, mesa-sized face:

Photo Credit: NASA

Or the middle finger of God:

Photo Credit: STSI

When you know what they actually are?

Want More? With all of the discussion regarding the colonization of Mars, there is one big problem. No one (that we know of) has ever tried having sex in space before. How would sex work in space?

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