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NASA Photo Reveals Playful Side of Mars: Is That a Bear?

April 1, 2024
Mars Bear FACE

For years, the mysteries of Mars have captivated scientists and space enthusiasts alike. Now, a recent NASA mission has uncovered a lighthearted side to the Red Planet – a peculiar landform resembling a bear’s face.

The amusing image was captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has tirelessly explored Mars since 2006. The ‘bear face’ was photographed from an impressive 250 kilometers above the Martian surface.

What Do We See?

The HiRISE team released the image on December 12th, 2022, sparking curiosity. According to lead scientist Alfred McEwen, the bear’s ‘nose’ may be a hill with a collapsed interior, potentially formed by volcanic or mudflows. Two craters conveniently form the ‘eyes’, with the whole ‘face’ encircled by a suggestive fracture pattern.

McEwen playfully suggests we simply smile at the peculiar image, as the exact geological origins remain a fun mystery.

A History of Martian Whimsy

This isn’t the first whimsical discovery by HiRISE. In 2020, researchers shared a photo of a ‘smiley face’ on the Martian terrain. Our tendency to see a ‘bear’ in this new image stems from a phenomenon called pareidolia, where our minds complete random patterns to perceive familiar forms, much like when we see shapes in clouds.

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Aditya Chaudhary

Aditya Chaudhary is a tech reviewer, Technology enthusiast and Tech news writer at The Ditible. He has 3 years of experience as Tech writer.

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