Martian Collapse Pit Looks Like a Predator’s Ship Crash Site, Plays Tricks on the Eyes

Collapse pit in the Ceraunius Fossae region of Mars 6 photos
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona
Ceraunius Fossae region of MarsCeraunius Fossae region of MarsCeraunius Fossae region of MarsCeraunius Fossae region of MarsCeraunius Fossae region of Mars
Remember that viral dress photo from back in 2015, that had people arguing whether they’re seeing the colors black and blue, or white and gold? Well, that was an optical illusion of sorts, and both groups of people were right in their own way, as it was all about color perception.
An optical illusion is what we have here too, only that a single group of people can ever be right with this one. You can either see something sticking out of the ground, like some sort of crawling Martian worm making its way toward a food source, or a hole in the ground that seems to have been made by a crashed Predator ship.

If you’re part of the latter group, the one seeing a collapse pit, you are the one who’s right, as that’s exactly what you’re looking at: an extremely strange, elongated, collapsed portion of soil, located in the Ceraunius Fossae region of the planet.

Ceraunius Fossae is located in the Tharsis region, and is riddled with fractures, parallel faults, and tension cracks. That’s what we’re seeing here, in an image captured by the HiRISE camera from an altitude of 284 km (176 miles) back in May 2022, and recently published.

The people over at the University of Arizona, who made the pic available, do not explain how it came to be or how large it is, but we do know the ones in this region are generally several miles wide and up to 0.6 miles deep.

The most likely causes of these formations here have nothing to do with worms of Predators, but with surface stresses: the stress on the surface at times surpasses the strength of the rock above, causing them to slip on faults.

The image used as the main photo of this piece is used by scientists to determine “whether or not there is a subterranean connection to this pit.”
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Editor's note: Gallery shows Ceraunius Fossae region of Mars.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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