Today’s trick on the mind comes from the same HiRISE camera in orbit around Mars, and from a place on the planet called Mawrth Vallis. That would be Mars Valley, translated from the weird blend of Welsh and Latin used to name this place in the Oxia Palus quadrangle.
The place is one of the oldest of its kind on Mars, and it’s viewed as an important region by scientists on account of its abundance of clay minerals. Ok, it’s not the clays themselves that are important, but the fact they come to be in the presence of water, the wonder substance we humans are looking for all over the Universe.
This particular image, released by the people who run HiRISE back in October, shows an area less than 1 km (0.62 miles) across, as seen from an altitude of 285 km (177 miles). Not only does it show some of the said clays, but also gives us a glimpse of how widespread and potent water once was on the planet, as it eroded the rocks there.
In doing so, it created incredible patterns to feed our pareidolia. Being a subjective thing, it may cause different people to see different things, but to me, the place seems like one large collection of alien monsters.
We get asymmetrical eyes and open mouths to the left side of the image, that combine to form crooked monster faces, some claws on the right, and canals that look like the leftover scars of some long-forgotten battle between Martian titans.