I See Mars Faces… Everywhere

The two suspect shapes spotted by Mars conspiracy theorists. Exhibit 1: The Egyptian statue. Exhibit 2: ??

During my search for material for last week’s Wide Angle: Mars Roving on Discovery, I was looking for images snapped by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit and Opportunity. During my trawl around Google Images, I managed to find a high-resolution picture of the rocky outcrop on the side of Victoria Crater when Opportunity was imaging the area in 2006.

I’ve always loved these Victoria images; you can easily see layering in the exposed rock and boulders strewn below. In fact, this could be a black and white picture of the Utah desert, or a wide angle view of the Grand Canyon. But no, this is Mars; lifeless Mars.

Or is it?

One version of the Opportunity image can be found on a conspiracy website, where a ‘study’ has been carried out. And guess what they found?

Oh yes, apparently a Martian civilization worshiped the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, carving a statue more commonly associated with pyramids into the crater wall (“Exhibit A” in the image above). Also, there’s a curiously shaped multi-layer disk on the ground — obviously some kind of alien artifact (“Exhibit B”).


Normally I’d ignore something like this, but I thought I’d have a little fun one evening (because my evenings simply aren’t exciting enough, it seems). Inspired by Phil Plait’s visions of Miss Piggy in a Mars mesa last week, I wanted to test myself and go on a pareidolia hunt of my own, armed with the Victoria crater pic, my imagination and questionable eyesight.

The human brain is a strange old thing at times, creating recognizable features out of random, inanimate objects, and that is exactly what some people use as “proof” of their nutty theory or visions of the second coming. People see Jesus in burnt toast, Michael Jackson in cloud formations and, in this case, ancient Egyptian statues carved into crater rims on Mars.

So have a look at this, I impressed myself (note the outstanding use of Photoshop):

Mars faces:

What I discovered in this single NASA Mars image:

A: Exhibit A – the Egyptian statue.
B: Exhibit B – some other artifact.
C: Admiral "It’s a trap!" Ackbar from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
D: Audry II, the blood-drinking plant from Little Shop of Horrors.
E: Jabba the Hutt, or an angry toad.
F: A gorilla’s head (kinda).
G: Can’t remember what I saw in this… but it’s kinda alien looking… right?
H: Insane-looking face. Could be the Mad Hatter?
I: Weird-looking Picasso face.
J: The alien from Predator.
K: Human head.
L: Another Egyptian statue, head part.
M: Humanoid skull!

I’ve even got a full-resolution version in case you can’t see the fruits of my imagination (all 4MB of it). But who cares if you can’t see Jabba, Ackbar, skulls or statues? That’s not the point; most conspiracy sites skew the facts to convince the reader to believe their false claims anyway. Hmmm… I’m quite good at this, perhaps I should start my own ‘Mars Faces’ conspiracy, only including characters from Star Warshmmm.

I’m personally most impressed with the “humanoid skull” (M), “Admiral Ackbar” (C) and the “insane face” (H). Obviously the ancient Martian civilization were a part of the Empire (not so far, far away), carried out sacrifices on humanoids (bones now littering the plains), worshipped Egyptian kings and had killer rock sculpting skills. Obviously.

Want more Mars faces? We have some puzzles on the subject over at Discovery Space! What are the odds…

12 thoughts on “I See Mars Faces… Everywhere”

  1. wait a second,ackbar?predator?audrey II? eureka! ive got it,the martians made a time machine and watched hollywood movies from the future! i bet they even planted the mayan callender on earth so they could watch a movie based on it!

  2. you ar4e missing about 25 more things. mBlow you pics up, zoom in without harming clarity too much. Then get out a good magnifying glass, you will be suprised.;to the right of G down a little is a clear pic of a man doin something.  right of the E look at the long black thing , long and thin, mess with the contrast some, you will see it is a long neck and on the to is a devil head with horns, eyes and lips.along the top rim are btwo people. to the left of the L circle are two ppl. every photo by nasa on every planet or moon you can find alien white/greys and small ppl and reg. sized ppl and faces everywhere. Many times you find naked peeps gettin nasty too, alot.

  3. one more thing , even the nasa video’s of mars etc. have people all over, just seen two aliens and a man holding a huge rat like rabbit by the head on a mars moon on a vid today. karayzee, wierd faces, and a  skinny skinny kid. 

  4. a half inch from the J go left and up,a clear face. left of the j by 1 and a qtr. inches , another face. go straight down from the M circle , go two inches approx, then go left a half inch and you will see a girl with long hair laying down. straight above the E circle is a man on the ledge,maybe 3 men. to the right of the b go right two inches and up a half inch , its an alien. Left of the C a quarter inch a big face mug. a guy leaning with his back to a rock, go up from J one inch , go left a qtr. inch. nuff for now, but I could get 20 more at least, NP!

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  6. I wish someone would forward this article to the person behind all those TV specials on “The mystery statues of Markawasi, Peru.” 

  7. Make light of it so people will not want to know. Mars has a history and one day we will know the truth. Until we can explore with people we will be stuck with pictures with no way to verify or study the anomolies. Make people feel foolish for looking and wondering so they will remain clueless. There are some very strange thing on Mars AND MERIT INVESTIGATION.

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