Waffle Crater on Mars Looks Like the Broken Seal of House Targaryen

Waffle crater in the Cerberus plains on Mars 6 photos
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona
Cerberus region of MarsCerberus region of MarsCerberus region of MarsCerberus region of MarsCerberus region of Mars
All those millions of fans of the original Game of Thrones series, disappointed or not in how the final season played out, have reason to rejoice once more: we’re already two weeks into something that’s called House of the Dragon, and it's amazing.
The new HBO smash hit series tells the story of House Targaryen, the bloodline of Game of Thrones' Daenerys, and is set some 170 years before the events already shown on the big screen.

For fans of the original series (myself included), the arrival of the House of the Dragon is a big reason for celebration and one of hope for a better script than the one for GoT's eighth season. It’s also why some of us now see stuff related to the mythical Universe created by George R.R Martin everywhere we look.

Including in this photo from Mars, snapped by the HiRISE camera in May 2022, from an altitude of 271 km (168 miles). It officially (and in real life) shows an impact crater in the Cerberus Plains region of Mars. Unofficially, and to this already House of the Dragon-addicted brain, the image looks like some broken seal of House Targaryen, a preview perhaps of the bloodline’s downfall we all know is coming.

For people far more trained in such things than us, and less predisposed to be influenced by TV shows, this is a type of feature called waffle crater.

The strange shape of the crater has, thus, a very scientific explanation. Researchers from the University of Arizona say this particular feature “seems to belong to a class of craters in the Cerberus Plains that was flooded by lava, which was subsequently uplifted and fractured.”

The nature of the process that lifted and fractured the crater is not known, but a “combination of volcanic and periglacial processes seems possible.”
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Editor's note: Gallery shows Cerberus 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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