A mouse has been spotted on the surface of Mars, with big ears, a nose and eyes, says Joe White, an amateur astronomer and space video journalist from Bristol, England. Alien enthusiasts are convinced he is right, while scientists and NASA personnel see it as just one of many rocks on the Red Planet’s surface with intriguing shapes.
The alleged mouse was seen in an image taken near the Gale Crater by the Mars Curiosity Rover, a car-sized robotic vehicle exploring the area as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission.
Curiosity has been beaming images to Earth since August 2012.
The image clearly shows something that looks like a mouse scurrying across the ridge of the 154 km (96 mile) rock structure, Mr. White says.
A mouse with big ears and a tail on the crater’s ridge, or just another rock? (Image: ArtAlienTV – MARS ZOO)
Mr. White, who runs the YouTube channel ArtAlienTV, said:
“It is what looks like a very large rodent in Gale Crater sitting on a ridge, plain as day. It may be an optical illusion, but it has big ears, nose and eyes visible.”
“It resembles a very large mouse or gerbil, and would be about two or three feet long.”
Face of Babylonian god of wisdom seen on Mars
Just a few days ago, another NASA picture had alien enthusiasts ultra-excited because it allegedly had a rock in one of its Mars images with the face of Nabu, the Babylonian and Assyrian god of wisdom and writing, dating back to 2000 BCE.
People from all over the world claimed it was compelling proof of intelligent extraterrestrial beings that had carved out the image on Martian rock.
Nabu’s face or normal darkening on Martian rock’s surface? (Image: mars.nasa.gov close-up)
According to the several thousand online comments, the carving was either of the ancient god (UFO enthusiasts), or just another unusually-shaped rock (scientists).
Ever since images from Mars have been released, the number of bizarre claims has increased significantly, from a crashed drone on the Red Planet’s surface with a mysterious weapon, to a polar bear, a sinister woman, and a crab monster.
Just another case of Pareidolia?
According to psychologists, these bizarre ‘sightings’ are due to a phenomenon called Pareidolia.
Pareidolia makes people hear a sound or see an image of something or somebody that is not there, and in many cases believe it is real.
Pareidolia affects all of us to a certain extent. When we look up at cloud formations and comment on their shapes – perhaps they remind us of an elephant’s trunk, or a witch on a broomstick – these are examples of pareidolia.
In more extreme cases, people do not see the images or hear the sounds as mere reminders, but are convinced they are real, as may occur when somebody claims he or she saw Jesus Christ’s face on a piece of burnt toast.
Collins English Dictionary defines pareidolia as:
“The imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features.”
Video – A giant mouse on Mars?
On this video, Mr. White describes a ‘possible giant mouse or other rodent’ on the Red Planet. He admits it could be an optical illusion, but then adds that it has big ears, nose and eyes which are clearly visible.