In these rocks, the world has spotted everything from pyramids, coffins, iguanas and even Obama’s head.
Now one group claims they have seen a ‘floating spoon’ on Mars captured by Curiosity’s Mastcam on sol 1089
The ‘spoon’ was discovered by members of the UnmannedSpaceflight.com forum and scientists have dismissed it as a classic case of pareidolia.
This is the psychological response to seeing familiar objects in random places.
It is a form of apophenia, which is when people see patterns or connections in random, unconnected data.
Human eyes can spot faces within their environment and it helps them recognise friends in a crowd, work out how fast a car is travelling, and see patterns.
Seth Shostak, director of the Centre for SETI Research, claims we also tend to use this ability to ‘enrich our imagination’ and recognise meaningful shapes, even when they’re not there.
‘Those that send [images] 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 said.
‘It’s usually some sort of animal, but occasionally even weirder objects such as automobile parts. Maybe they think there are cars on Mars.’