Surface Ridges on Mars Look Like Fossils of Alien Creatures

Imagine a future, not long from now, when people digging into the reddish soil of planet Mars discover the remnant of some local beast, who roamed the planet millions of years ago. Wouldn’t that be something?
Ridges near the Vernal crater on Mars 6 photos
Photo: NASA/JPL/UArizona
Vernal crater on MarsVernal crater on MarsVernal crater on MarsVernal crater on MarsVernal crater on Mars
For what it’s worth, it’s highly unlikely we will ever find fossils of larger animals there, the way we understand them here on Earth. Sure, Mars was probably ripe long ago for life to evolve there, but you have to imagine it in the form of microorganisms rather than creatures the size of a rat, or a dinosaur, for that matter.

The quest to find the remnants of life on Mars has begun long ago, and now that the Perseverance rover is there, and the Mars Sample Return mission in the pipeline, we’ll probably have proof of Martian organism decently soon.

But it’ll be a while until humans get there and start digging themselves. And they’ll probably never find traces of anything with spines and legs or wings.

This isn’t stopping the planet from playing tricks with our eyes and minds, as it has plenty of opportunities to do so. It mostly takes advantage of the HiRISE camera in orbit around the planet, revealing itself to us in stages and with strange associations.

The features we’re looking at here are ridges near an impact crater called Vernal, a scar in the ground with a diameter of 55 km (34 miles) that may have once housed hot springs.

The rock ridges rise up from the ground in intricate patterns, and if one is imaginative enough, one could see the skeleton of some alien beast – in my case, that would be a winged monster, sitting with its belly exposed to the camera, wings extended, and head with three sets of eyes looking to its left.

The image was captured by HiRISE in 2020, from an altitude of 272 km (169 miles).
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Editor's note: Gallery shows Vernal crater on 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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