Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Forget about that Man on the Moon – how about that Face on Mars?

In 1976 the Viking Or­biter ra­dioed back many im­ages from Mars. Among those form the Cy­do­nia re­gion, one de­picted a rock for­ma­tion that strongly re­sem­bled a human or hu­manoid face star­ing straight up into the heav­ens.

You can prob­a­bly guess what was made of this… ‘Parei­do­lia’ is the term for neu­ro­log­i­cal or psy­cho­log­i­cal phe­nom­ena where vague im­ages are in­ter­preted by the brain as spe­cific im­ages. Sta­tis­ti­cally speak­ing, it is a type I error, a “false pos­i­tive”.

A nice ar­ti­cle “Para­nor­mal Phe­nom­ena: The Face on Mars: Once and for All” con­tains some back­ground ma­te­r­ial on the en­su­ing ker­fuf­fle, in­clud­ing links to large NASA im­ages of the en­tire re­gions pho­tographed.

In 1998, the Mars Global Sur­veyor (MGS) reached the Red Planet with far bet­ter, more high-res­o­lu­tion equip­ment than Viking had car­ried. Ini­tially, NASA had not planned to re-map the Cy­do­nia re­gion, but pub­lic out­cry was so great that in April 1998, the MGS was pro­grammed to re-pho­to­graph seg­ments of the Cy­do­nia re­gion, in­clud­ing at least one of the face (there was also some­thing on ‘pyra­mids’ there which we will not cover here). If you move the mouse over the ad­ja­cent fig­ure, the newer photo ap­pears, roughly shifted and ro­tated to match the one taken 22 years ear­lier. You can judge for your­self whether you in­ter­pret this as a face – about 2.5 km tall, 2 km wide and about 0.5 km of height – star­ing right out into space…


In early 2006 a new face was found in Peru [GoogleMaps, Reg­is­ter ar­ti­cle]

And in Oc­to­ber 2006 an In­dian with an iPod… GoogleMaps

More: Holy Toast

More on Parei­dola at The Scep­tics Dic­tio­nary


JosephAlsarraf said...

I think it does look like a face but, I don't think it is one.

Steve Lewis said...

OK, so the Face can be explained. But try explaining the Martian Ruins:

Martian ruins

Just exactly how do natural forces create straight partitioned rectangular wall formations? The only thing resembling these structures are ruins of ancient city sites and they do resemble them to a mysterious degree.

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