We Just Found Joker’s Grin Etched on the Bottom of a Martian Crater

We’ve been talking about Mars as seen in the images sent back by the HiRISE orbital camera for a while now, and we can safely say we’ve witnessed tons of weird stuff over there. But this may very well be the first time in history when a feature on that planet reminds one of a DC Comics character.
Moni crater on Mars 6 photos
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona
Kaiser Crater on MarsKaiser Crater on MarsKaiser Crater on MarsKaiser Crater on MarsKaiser Crater on Mars
The Joker supervillain was born back in 1940 as one of Batman’s main antagonists, and has quickly grown into becoming an iconic figure in comic books, movies, and even in everyday life. Portrayed over the years by a small army of actors (most recently by Joaquin Phoenix), he has always been easily recognizable thank to a number of unique features. Perhaps the most important of all is Joker’s grin.

It is this shape of the character’s face that makes children feel afraid and adults gasp every time it shows up on the big screen or on the various products that sell the Joker idea. And, as of now, it is this shape of Joker’s face that you’ll probably associate with the Moni Crater on Mars.

Snapped back in 2017 from an altitude of 251 km (156 miles) by HiRISE, this recently published image of the place shows it in all its glory, with the “incremental lengthening of recurring slope lineae” clearly visible.

At the bottom of the crater, in the center of the image, sand dunes have arranged themselves to look like Joker’s teeth, just like you see them when the bad guy parts his lips to announce a world of hurt coming his enemies’ way.

As for the crater itself, it’s a place ESA’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter revealed to be rich in elements, from low-calcium pyroxene and iron oxide dust to basaltic sand. And as extra proof of how strange Mars is, it’s also important to note Moni sits inside a larger crater, one called Kaiser.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows the Kaiser Crater.

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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