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WATCH: NASA rover spots crab-like 'Alien facehugger' on surface of Red Planet

April 25, 2016 | Monday

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NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has picked up an image that some think could be a crab-like martian alien. The rock feature has also been likened to the facehugger creature from the Alien movies.

Scientists say the reason so many people recognize something familiar in the image is because of psychological response called pareidolia.

This isn't the first time an image from Mars has stirred up us Earthlings. Back in 1976, NASA's Viking 1 orbiter snapped a picture of what appeared to be a face staring back from the Martian surface. It turned out that was just a rock, too.

Senior astronomer at the Center for SETI Research, Seth Shostak, told the Mirror he gets images every week that people claim to see animals or objects in. "Recognizing a crab in a landscape filled with wind-weathered rocks is no more surprising — nor more significant — than seeing a winking face in a semicolon followed by a parenthesis," Shostak said.

"Those that send them to me are generally quite excited, as they claim that these frequently resemble something you wouldn't expect to find on the rusty, dusty surface of the Red Planet," he added.

"It's usually some sort of animal, but occasionally even weirder objects such as automobile parts. Maybe they think there are cars on Mars."

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About Erick Abel

Erick Abel
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