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Curious NASA photo makes Mars look like a spelling bias

Mars crosses its "T" s. NASA / JPL / University of Arizona Creepy and wonderful Mars has provided another spellbinding…

Mars crosses its “T” s.


NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

Creepy and wonderful Mars has provided another spellbinding visual treatment for us to consider. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured an image of a landscape covered by sand dunes in the shapes of T and V.

MRO snapped the image in February, but the HiRise camera team from the University of Arizona marked it on Sunday as a picture of the day and said that the formations resembled funnel forms. The team was the first to notice the dunes similar to letters.

Is Mars trying to tell us to send TV? We wish. We have not yet found any signs of life on the red planet. The alphabetical revelation is really just a fine example of pareidolia, the human tendency to see familiar patterns in unrelated forms.

Wavy, dusty Mars is home to some exotic sand dunes of which some

MRO snapped a set of wiggly mask-like dunes in 2017. They got their distinctive appearance against wind power in combination with the sun’s angle when MRO took the picture.

A wider view of the T- and V-dyed field shows an impressive spread, with many connecting to each other.

This field of dunes on Mars has an alphabetical feel.


NASA / JPL / University of Arizona

This is not the first time it feels like Mars tries to communicate with us. A 2016 MRO image shows a set of dark dunes that looked like Morse code . Either set of quilts would be a good lead for the start of a sci-fi story, but they are no sign of intelligent alien life on the red planet.

First published December 3, 12:30 p.m. PT.
Update, Dec 4, 2:23 p.m.: Adding more information about the image.


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