NASA’s missions to Mars have provided us with some intriguing images of the red planet, from a mysterious doorway to a cliff with an apparent human face etched on it. Adding to this series of bizarre discoveries on Mars, the Curiosity Rover snapped a picture of two delicate formations reaching upward from the surface of the planet. The images were shared on Twitter by SETI Institute (Search for extraterrestrial intelligence), a research organisation focused on searching for life in the universe.
Sharing the pictures on Twitter SETI explained how the rock attained its unique formation. The caption read, “Here is another cool rock at Gale crater on Mars! The spikes are most likely the cemented fillings of ancient fractures in sedimentary rock. The rest of the rock was made of softer material and was eroded away.” Curiosity took the recently-shared pictures of the rock on May 17.
#PPOD: Here is another cool rock at Gale crater on Mars! The spikes are most likely the cemented fillings of ancient fractures in a sedimentary rock. The rest of the rock was made of softer material and was eroded away. 📷: @NASA @NASAJPL @Caltech #MSSS fredk, acquired on May 17. pic.twitter.com/RGfjmRBfI7
— The SETI Institute (@SETIInstitute) May 26, 2022
Reacting to the picture shared by SETI, one of the users commented, “Looks like a tentacle to me.” Some users also compared the Martian rock to Fulgurites, which are natural tubes or crusts of glass formed by the fusion of silica sand or rock from a lightning strike. As one comment read, “It looks like a fulgurite.” Another user commented, “Looks like a lightning strike.”
Looks like a lightning strike
— geowelder (@Geowelder23) June 4, 2022
It looks like a fulgurite.
— Keith Bates (@KeithBa99414715) June 4, 2022
Could this be fulgurite?
— AChid (@AChid45252932) June 4, 2022
Looks like a tentacle to me 🥴
— i'm noBody (@wutwiw) June 5, 2022
In its quest to solve some of the mysteries of Mars and how its past must have manifested, the Curiosity Rover is armed with modern technologies. The latest image came from Curiosity’s mast-mounted camera also known as Mastcam.
Mars Curiosity Rover was launched on November 26, 2011 and it landed on Mars on August 5, 2012. During its mission, which primarily focuses at Gale crater, the rover has collected, grinded, distributed, and analysed approximately 70 samples of soil and rock. Last year, Curiosity Rover was joined by another rover by NASA. The Perseverance Rover landed on Mars on February 18, 2021 after launching from earth on July 30, 2020. It has conducted vertical helicopter flights on the Martian surface. Perseverance also sends in weather reports, raw images, and sounds of Mars back to earth.