Pining for Mars

By Phil Plait | December 1, 2008 6:00 am

Does this NASA photo from the rover Opportunity show a wooden log on Mars?

Mars panorama showing woody rock

Hard to tell? Then look at the zoomed-in image, and ask again: is this a log (petrified or otherwise) on the surface of the Red Planet?

Mars Wood zoom 1

Duh. No.

But if you read some websites, you might think it is. So what’s going on here?

The quick answer is: this is another in a long line of examples of pareidolia; people seeing familiar things in random or semi-random patterns. In other words, this looks like a log, but it ain’t. Remember the Martian Bigfoot? Yeah, this is the same kind of thing.

How do I know? Well, lots of reasons. For one thing, this photo is from 2005. Had any scientist studying Mars seen this and thought it was actually wood, I think they would have said something by now.

Second, there’s no evidence at all of any macroscopic plant life on Mars. The vista shown here is a vast range of desert. What are the odds there would be a log smack dab in the way of the the rover as it moves across Mars? Note too that the tracks go right over the object; Opportunity literally ran it over. That means lots of people in the control room on Earth saw this object, yet no one said anything about it being a log. And if you think they’re covering it up, then why did they publish the image in a press release?

Third, look to the right of the "log". There are two rocks that look a lot like it:

Mars Wood Zoom 3

That image is slightly different from the one I displayed above, with better contrast. See how the rocks are the same color as the "log"? And look at the patterns on the rocks; they’re the same too. The linear patterns even line up with those of the longer object! This indicates we’re looking at a rock here.

And finally, fourth: I mean, c’mon. A log? On Mars? Sheesh.

Clearly what we’re seeing here is another rock, probably different than the flat rocks that are paler, but very similar to the darker ones. It looks like a petrified log, but then we know that many things look like other things. Wasp nests look like Buddha (or the StayPuft Marshmallow Man), and rocks look like Bigfoot (which is like a case of meta-nonsense, given we’re talking Bigfoot).

It’s certainly an interesting object, since it’s long, and all the other rocks are not. I imagine that geologically there’s some story behind it. But I really really don’t think it involves wood.

But that won’t stop the goofballs out there, breathlessly playing this silliness up. One site said this photo was leaked. Yeah, leaked, as a frackin’ press release on the NASA site!

Cripes.

Another site goes on about how maybe it’s a log and maybe it’s not, but who can trust NASA? After all, it’s so easy to fake pictures. But they don’t make the logical connection that if NASA faked the image, then (again) why did they publish it in a press release but make no mention of the object itself?

It’s frustrating that unthinking nonsense like this gets spread so quickly through the web. It’s the Ebola of science, and far too may people are far too willing to pass the virus on. It relies heavily on people not understanding science (and skepticism) all that well, and them also not understanding that seeing is not necessarily believing.

So if you see something like this, think about it before sending it on to the next victim. Does the claim really make sense? Is it supported by the data you have, and is there evidence against it? And you can always look to my blog here for more, or to other places like the BAUT forum, where lots of smart and knowledgeable people look into claims just like this one.

It’s amazing how much bad thinking is out there in cyberspace. But don’t worry. Its bark is a lot worse than its byte.

Comments (105)

  1. “Second, there’s no evidence at all of any macroscopic plant life on Earth.”

    I beg to differ. ;)

  2. Olaf

    “Second, there’s no evidence at all of any macroscopic plant life on Earth.”

    Ha! It is a cover-up! Why can’t NASA’s crony Phil admit to what’s obvious to everyone – that there’s plenty of macroscopic plant-life on Earth?

    Of course, there’s no way this could be a typo on his part rather than evidence of some vast, improbable and totally pointless conspiracy.

  3. Matt

    Hahaha, bark. That’s the best pun I’ve ever heard.

  4. “Second, there’s no evidence at all of any macroscopic plant life on Earth.”

    Do you mean Mars Phil?

  5. jest

    My take on the image itself (I refuse to comment how people claim it’s something that it clearly is not) is that it COULD be the remnants of a crater that has since been buried by martian winds over the course of a million or more years.

    I’ve seen petrified trees. Petrified trees don’t have sediment layers.

  6. Sion Hughes

    Log, really! Any fool can see that it is a Cadbury’s Flake. Yum.

  7. Protesilaus

    Until I zoomed in an realized the top picture had the rover in it, I thought it was an airport runway, with a runway tower. Talk about pareidolia.

  8. Scott Halls

    It’s definately a rock, although i think it may be the sand patterns around the rock that evokes the brain image of a log. The sand patterns are suggestive of the type of water draining patterns you get round logs that have washed up on beaches, in this case maybe caused by wind. But it’s still a rock.

  9. Rickard

    Concerning http://thecrit.com/2008/08/05/nasa-mars-photo-leaked-wood-found-on-mars/:

    Well, I’ll be damned. Can anyone explain why NASA has a multi-billion budget, when they could just as well fire the entire staff, and hire this guy? Obviously he has discovered many things which all the professional scientists have missed or ignored through the decades.

    Let’s start a petition! Who’s with me?

  10. RL

    How wood a rock come to look like that? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk…

    Seriously, though, what would cause a rock to look like that? Any geologists out there who might be able to explain?

  11. Francois

    That rock looks prity square not round like
    you would expect a petrified tree to look like. So maybe it came from a ancient martion lumber yard, mind you that would explain why mars is so barren, deforestation. :)

  12. I’ve seen plenty of layered outcrops like that in the desert… and the mountains…

    The thing to remember about these wild claims is that they’re really more about the person making them than they are about the actual subject of the picture. Imagine how important it makes you look if you claim to have “secret” knowledge that NASA is supposedly hiding…

  13. Andy C

    What gets me about people screaming ‘Cover Up!’ for things like this, is that none of them stop to ask themselves why we spend all this money going into space, hunting for planets, looking for life, etc etc, just so we get to cover it up if we find what we’re looking for? If you want to deny something’s existence, surely it’s easier not to go looking for it? I think they call it plausible deniability.

  14. Pargody

    Those parallel lines seem machine tooled !

  15. “It’s amazing how much bad thinking is out there in cyberspace. But don’t worry. Its bark is a lot worse than its byte.”

    Punny aside, is it really true? Sure, people may not die right off from the log on Mars, but a lot of that other bad thinking is summed up at whatstheharm.net (a site you have pointed out before). And the sheer amount of that bad thinking sure does bring me down a lot when I think about how downright DUMB people can be.

  16. Mchl

    Good catch Olaf :)
    Or is it intentionally ‘leaked’ confidential information aimed at inducing fear and panic in the society.
    We’re all microbes people!!!

  17. Matt

    That’s a good point Mchl. They kind of have it both ways don’t they? By lying, they are successfully suppressing knowledge, by telling the truth they are successfully making us fear what they are lying about.
    Also, that one guy actually believes there are lush forests on mars… That’s just too ridiculous.

  18. fco

    I say it’s a viking ship remnant. They got there first just like they did in America.

  19. “Second, there’s no evidence at all of any macroscopic plant life on Earth.”

    Dr Plait just got back from a long holiday weekend, I bet he’s still “recovering”. Although this did make me laugh too. Maybe Dr Plait is from Mars, and he’s denying our existence?

  20. MIke

    Definitely a weapon of some sort.

    Some Martian was planning to club Opportunity, but hearing it whirring dropped his weapon and ran for cover.

    .

  21. theinquisitor

    “But how do you KNOW she is a witch?”

    “She LOOKS like one!”

  22. kuhnigget

    Oh wow, I hadn’t even heard about this particular case of idiocy. Why, oh why, isn’t the amazing fact that we’re looking at pictures taken by a machine we sent to Mars! amazing enough for these morons? The need to be in on the secret must be really intense for them. I wonder if they were always part of the C-crowd in grade school or something? Now they have to compensate: I was a nobody as a kid, but now I’m privy to the secret and you’re not. Ha-ha!

  23. Wayne

    I don’t think its a rock OR a log. Look at the shadows on the rover, clearly this is an indentation. The first clue was Phil’s comment that the rover ran right over it. I suspect that the rover MADE this feature when its wheels sank down into a softer bit of regolith. The other similar “rocks” are smaller indentations along the rover’s path. This also explains the rectangular nature of the feature. Anyone else see it this way?

  24. Joker

    Well we did do the hat … & the nose.

    She turned me into a newt …. I got better. ;-)

    So … logically .. id she … weighs the same as a duck …

    SHE’S A WITCH BURN HER bURN HER! BURN HER!

    (Apologies to Monty Python)

    Hmm .. I bet some of the scientists involved feel like “laying a log” of their own or at least a bit log-y seeing this. ;-)

  25. Joker

    That’s * if * she weighs thesame as aduck goshdurnit! Dang nabbity dangit! Typos ..

    Why oh why do I hafta channel NedFalnders here? :-(

    Oh yeah the goishdurned ,m dangnabbed biustard son of a gun anti-swearing prissiness policy. That’s right. Sigh.

    (Probably toodrunk to be posting here but a-n0-y-w-a=-y …)

  26. Joker

    @ Wayne :

    “Anyone else see it this way?”

    Nope! ;-)

  27. Ned Flanders

    Well that’s Ned Flanders not the ttypo variant obv.

    Heck, we know the words we just canna say-itt Capt’n (& Scotty too apparently!) ;-)

  28. Ned Flanders

    all.

    We all know the words that is.

    Corrections upon corrections, upon .. stuff it I’m getting another beer.

    ———–

    PS. BA for pity’s sake how abouyt some sorta preview /editing cpability here eh? ;-)

  29. M

    I agree with Phil in everything but point number four. While it is exceptionally unlikely that it is a log if we are to be true to the scientific method we cannot say that it cannot be something just because it does not fit our preconceptions. Look at some of the unlikely places that we find life on Earth. Having said that however, to paraphrase someone smarter than I, people making incredible claims need to supply incredible evidence. Finding lumber on Mars is obviously an incredible claim and I need something more than an ambiguous photo. Perhaps if it burns (or would that mean it was a witch (or a duck??)

  30. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Hmm. Loghead pareidolia?

    there’s no evidence at all of any macroscopic plant life on Earth

    That cuts (and considering the discussed ambient, dries) it – while laymen are from Earth, astronomers must be from Mars.

    Still, one would think that the observed “red edge” would be considered admissible evidence among astronomers…

  31. GK4

    C’mon people. It’s obviously a piece of Noah’s Ark.

  32. Yoo

    It’s one thing to be funny or make pie-in-the-sky speculations, which could be fun. But there are people who seriously think it’s petrified wood?

  33. Charles Boyer

    The chances of this thing being a petrified log are about as high as seeing Marvin the Martian’s flying saucer land next to it.

    But at the same time, extremely low odds != impossible. After all, we’re here and that’s proof that extremely low odds can actually come to fruition.

    And please, spare me any talk of the Imaginary Dude In The Sky who created humanity for his vanity and entertainment.

  34. kuhnigget

    My favorite quote from the first linked website:

    One of the most famous examples of this is the Apollo 16 “Earth rise” photo in which “the Earth” is rising over the moon. NASA says that the object in the picture is the Earth and few people question it. If you think for yourself, and look with an open mind, you will clearly see that this is a UFO.

    Uh-oh…I feel my mind opening up…. Damn! That cerebellum keeps falling out!

  35. Oh Noez…Marz haz Wood!

  36. Shiver me timbers! It’s Noah’s Ark… on Mars!

  37. OtherRob

    Clearly this is a beam that has fallen from the ceiling of NASA’s Mars Set.

  38. Egaeus

    That’s obviously a railroad tie. Probably a remnant from the railroad system that replaced the canals after the oceans dried up.

  39. Phil,

    It’s gotta be a log dragged away from the very obvious campfire in the top left corner of the second linked pic.

    Geeze, don’t you guys have eyes?

    //sarcasm

  40. OnSolThree

    From the American Chronicle link:

    “Although the Viking Orbiters photographed what appeared to be forests on Mars, there has been no mention of this recently, or any new images.”

    Wait, what? Forests?

  41. Arrrrrrrr Me Matey’s! Ahhh, you found me wooden leg… Arrrrrrrrr! On Mars ye say?

  42. Ed

    It looks like a weathered piece of railroad tie. No sign of the rails?

  43. M

    Ed,

    The rails obviously rusted away and were blown around, hence the red color of the ground. I should be a conspiracy theorist. This is fun making up silly things!

  44. Leander

    “I don’t trust these people with my life. I trust them to do their jobs as they have been trained to do.”

    Which, in case of military personnel, or police, is to keep you safe. Oh, and the air traffic controllers who keep the plane you’re on from crashing into other planes. What’s your point at all ? Playing semantics ? You trust them with your life.

    “Where does this involve identifying unusual phenomena in the skies?”

    Air traffic controllers for example ? Hello ? Checking radar, trained to distinguish between flying objects and meteorological phenomena, flocks of birds, etc…

    “Or simply unfamiliar with the phenomenon that they observed.”

    Which kind of is…”being mistaken”…what’s with the hair-splitting here ?

    “What training are police officers (for example) given that qualifies them to identify rare atmospheric phenomena, or experimental aircraft, or the planet Venus, or bright lights reflecting off very distant flocks of geese?”

    Ah, that attempt again. You know, if they saw something fuzzy and small, your examples might suffice, but really…there’s people describing actually technological objects, sometimes of large scale. Venus, right. Of course they might be lying, or hallucinating – but are you as a skeptic willing to jump to these conclusions without an actual investigation of their trustworthiness ?

    “and that they are not familiar with the visual appearance of the many many different objects and phenomena that can be observed in our skies.”

    You’re probably talking about astronomers, air force pilots, air traffic controllers etc. Right.

    “No, it ain’t.”

    It IS a strong belief, no matter how you spin it. Take the Disclosure Project…over 200 witnesses. Sure, that doesn’t constitute any proof – but again, are you as a skeptic and supposedly rational person willing to make the bold claim that each and everyone of them either misinterpreted a natural phenomenon, is lying, or hallucinated ? And are you willing to make that claim without any assessment of each and everyone of these people’s trustworthiness as a witness ? Just because it doesn’t fit your idea of the world ? That’s quite a strong belief you’re trying to uphold with such a claim. And silly for every rational person claiming to be interested in the truth, and not just what proves their truth.

    “It doesn’t matter how many eyewitness “reports” you get, they are never reproducible, they are always made by fallible humans and they never constitute hard evidence.”

    You can’t just dismiss them either. What if you saw an alien craft, without a camera handy, no other witnesses…would you want someone to at least be open to what you saw and try and investigate it, or would you wanna be dismissed by guys like Phil ?

    “Their unreliability has been demonstrated.”

    It’s fallacious to say that just because this is the case, you can just dismiss anybody who witnessed things you don’t like. If you were interested in the truth, you’d still investigate the reliability of that particular witness. Assuming you’re from the US, do you want me to just assume you’re overweight, because it has been demonstrated that a great percentage of Americans is ? Do you want your doctor to take out your appendix when you come to him with abdominal pain, just because it has been demonstrated that people with appendicitis suffer from abdominal pain ? So because inreliability of witnesses has been demonstrated…anybody who witnesses something you deem unlikely falls into that category ? What arrogance.

  45. Leander

    Sorry, that was supposed to go to another post.

  46. It’s a rock. Duh.
    But view the full scale image. There in the top left, in the distance – it’s either an artifact that NASA has erased from the image, or *GASP* a snowman!

  47. Tony

    Is that a “V2″ drawn in the ground just to the bottom right of it? Obviously something from Viking 2. They must be using the same set as they did for Viking 2, and those stupid NASA guys forgot to get rid of the “V2″. Can’t they do anything right in a conspiracy?

  48. Chris A.

    @GK4 & Michael L
    Noah’s Ark, you bet. Geologists have already labeled one of the eras in Mars’ past as the “Noachian” period (4.3 to 3.5 Gya). And, of course, we know of the features suggestive of giant floods. It’s a conspiracy to hide the truth: That Noah was a Martian!

  49. JoeSmithCA

    If that was a color photo with a comment about where or when it was taken I would call it a rock. The picture is too grainy to make a reasonable assumtion of what it is, but it someone said “It’s a petrified tree.” I’d assume it’s that the title said and noted “Axel Heiberg Island Petrified Forest.” If someone said “It’s a fragement of femur from a Tarbosaurus. Mongolia.” I’d agree if the person was a noted authority in Paleontology. If I took a grainy b/w picture of some interesting looking rocks out in the desert and mislabeled it “Mars Image. NASA” now you’re asking for trouble. It’s human nature to fill in the blanks with what ever information we have available.

    I run into similiar stuff every day when I go through programming specs Product Management hands to me. Clarify, Clarify, Clarify is the motto we have in our engineering department. Someone hands you specs for a widget, you interpret it as a spanner and they wonder why/how you came up with that wacky idea.

    I guess with NASA they’d need a team of geologists write up a detailed article explaining every single object in the image. It’s Mars you know and there are people hoping, wishing, wanting to see life on Mars. I guess NASA wouldn’t get anything done if they sat down and explained everything in detail with every picture they’ve taken.

    However, maybe someone in NASA should write a statement that says “x rock formation composed of x type rock”, see example of similiar rock formation on earth here, here and here. Etc. when this sillyness comes up. I guess we need people to go up there or some more sophisticated robots that can “Ok, fine, we’ll go back to object x and do a test on it… Wow, hey it IS a railroad tie!” :)

  50. Quiet Desperation

    Wait… that’s the piece of wood I was using to prop something up in my failed teleportation experiment last year… how did… HOLY CRAP!

  51. JoeSmithCA

    One more thing on fun with rocks:

    Dinosaur Tracks or Erosion? Search the web on “Dinosaur Tracks, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument”

    I’ve been at a similiar formation in California (Cretacious-era rock) albeit significantly smaller more likely erosion. The only thing I thought it was “freakin’ holes!” after I stumbled on one.

  52. bigjohn756

    Why is everyone worried about a half rotted 4×4? I think I’d be more worried about getting the contractor back to straighten out the sloppy job he did laying out the flagstone patio there.

  53. Actually, I thought the lichen growing on the rocks in the center of the photo near the landers solar panel, was pretty interesting, too! ;-)

  54. So what happened to the rest of the Ark?

  55. Charles Boyer

    How long will it before we start hearing about Mars landing hoaxes?

    “As you can plainly see in this photograph, NASA forgot to remove this old railroad tie from their secret Martian landing set in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Further proof of the hoax isa found in the famous Girl on Mars photograph, which somehow escaped NASA’s attention before it was released. In that photo, a young woman who had wandered into Mars ‘lander’s’ v’iewfinder had her photo snapped and posted onto the web before it was pulled and suspicious explanations proffered.”

  56. gt

    Obviously this is a piece of petrified wood blasted off the EARTH by a meteor strike that eventually landed on MARS. It happens the other way around, y’know.

    Actually, it looks more like a short section of 2 x 4 driftwood, so maybe the meteor hit the ocean (near the coastline) where somebody was building a dock and this scrap got knocked into the water accidentally…..

    ;-)

  57. Scott

    “To err is human, to really foul things up requires a computer”

    The stupidity lies with the humans; the internet just lets them spread it around fast. Fortunately, it also allows intelligent reasoning to spread quickly.

  58. SteveG

    The answer is really quite simple, the rover brought the tree with it.

    In truth this is evidence of a little known plot by NASA to plant trees on Mars as an initial step for the U.S. conquest of the planet. (The tree is an American Beech, which is appropriate given all the sand) The rover attempted to plant the tree but NASA mistakenly thought the soil was loamy when in fact it is really quite sandy. The roots didn’t take and the tree fell over. The rover then attempted to drive over the fallen tree to break off all the leaves and branches and thus conceal the plot. But it didn’t work. The photo was leaked by tree-huggers who have infiltrated NASA for just such an occasion. They believe strongly that the trees are being mis- tree-ted and so want a stop to space exploration and get the country back to its roots.

    If you look carefully you can also see a squirrel nest near the horizon but that’s for another day.

  59. Of COURSE it’s a log!

    And everyone knows Heat Shield Rock was made of candy.

  60. Sman

    From appearances, the texture looks very similar to the up-turned blocks along the left side of the crater, and the color is similar to many of the other pieces strung about. Ejecta debris from the crater???

  61. bob

    Sod the rock…

    I see cowpats! There are cows on Mars! In fact, that explains so much! The aliens aren’t after our cows, they _are_ our cows! Cows are aliens! That why the aliens have always disappeared by the time anyone gets the video going!

  62. Captain Swoop

    How can anyone claim that NASA is covering anything up when NASA published the picture?

  63. kuhnigget

    @ Bob:

    Cows are aliens!

    That would explain the cow recta. Um, sort of.

  64. Chip

    Its the perennial Yule Log (there’s only one) that gets re-gifted or passed around at Christmas time. Someone finally found a place to send it that alleviates the international problem of what to do with it. Its safe now on Mars where it will do the least damage. ;)

  65. JoeSmithCA

    kuhnigget Says:
    “That would explain the cow recta. Um, sort of.”

    Oh no, not the cow reca again :)

    @Chip
    Glad to hear someone has resolved the Yule Log issue, but has anyone addressed the Fruit Cake Problem?

  66. Cory

    Clearly part of the “glass tube” rail system Hoagland discovered….

  67. Nemo

    Clearly NASA, on a tight budget, has started using wood in their spaceship construction, and this is a piece that fell off the lander itself. Heavily weathered by the journey, of course.

  68. Ozonator

    The FBI finally found Judge Crater.

  69. Chas, PE

    Of course–not only is it wood, it’s a railroad tie. When the Martians stopped using the canals, they switched to railroads.

  70. Isn’t the presence of tilted, stratified sedimentary rocks on Mars sufficiently cool?

  71. Joan

    The Noah’s ark !!!

  72. Can’t be Noah’s Ark. Not big enough. I always imagined it was 40 cubits… whatever a cubit is?

  73. What rolls down stairs?
    Alone or in pairs,
    Rolls over your neighbor’s dog,
    It fits on your back,
    It’s great for a snack,
    LOG LOG LOG!
    It’s log, it’s log,
    it’s big, its heavy it’s wood!
    It’s log, it’s log,
    Its better than bad, its good!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPHtKarae2Q

  74. Cory

    Trying to think outta the box, this could be Martian life itself. We cannot assume that all life has to be recognizable as the life we know. After all, it’s almost reverse para…dol..however you say it – we only see a log or a rock. Maybe the Rover just ran over the Martian Ambassador.

  75. antaresrichard

    Damn set builders, not clearing the shot! Now we gotta bring in Phil Plait!

  76. csrster

    Why is everybody talking about the log when the much more interesting fact is that it is quite clearly is sitting on a crazy-paving patio (just see the full image at http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/n/115/1N138388278EFF2700P1994L0M1.JPG ) ?

  77. fsm

    Isnt it obvious? Its the Captain’s log.. :-)

  78. Tom Ogletree

    Look folks, I’m a Master Plumber and I know a broken water main when I see it. No wonder Mars dried up, No one repaired the leak!

  79. Grand Lunar

    I’ve seen rocks like that in Utah and Arizona! It’s proof that the rovers are in the desert southwest of the US! :D

  80. Lao Tzu

    If the image had been taken near the Pathfinder landing site, a log would have made much more sense. That’s where I would have expected the log lady to roam…

  81. Alan French

    I like the suggestion that NASA sent a piece of wood along. I think NASA could take a lesson from cavers. I heard one story where they carried a tire way back into some remote section of cave, and then left parallel tracks along one passageway. (I can not vouch for the story’s veracity.)

    Imagine NASA sending along some little fake “artifact” they could toss out in front of the rover. Of course, with all the imaginative folks studying all the images, they hardly need to pull such a trick.

    The claims of subliminal advertising seem based on pareidolia, with people claiming there are suggestive images in glasses of ice and whiskey, for example.

    Clear skies, Alan

  82. you

    Lol,what a bunch of dolts.
    I doubt they will find anything on a planet with hydrogen peroxide for an atmoshpere.It would be a great place to sterilise wounds though.

  83. Arcturus

    Obviously these are the ruins of Noah’s Ark.

  84. beagledad

    No, it’s not a log.

    Obviously it’s a railroad tie. The only serious question remaining is whether (1) it’s a remnant of the trans-Martian railroad built by Ras Thavas, the Master Mind of Mars; (2) a landscape tie from Jeff Spender’s herb garden; or (3) a relic of Valentine Michael Smith’s infant cradle.

  85. RoaldFalcon

    It’s a timber from the Fram, the ship that Roald Amundsen took to Mars in 1928 when he realized the south pole of Earth was not nearly enough of a challenge. Antarctica was too “sultry”.

  86. Sheesh

    “I mean, c’mon. A log? On Mars? Sheesh.” What a very scientific statement. Why didn’t you just name this post “Dude, Where’s my log?”. No wonder you failed at running your own site.

  87. Azatarai

    This post is about as exciting as dead wood.

  88. Kevin

    Yep its a log and BTW it’s a black and white pic of a desert here on earth too.

  89. Perry R

    Not a log. That said, I find it quite preposterous that Mars is entirely sterile given what we here on earth must do to keep a few square feet the same.

  90. Kobus N

    Now listen, I’m South African and we love wood for “braaivleis”, barbeque.
    That is wood,… hard wood. That log will burn for the whole festive season and you will be able to “braai” barbeque a whole cow with it.
    Now, anybody out there who can go get the thing for us …pleeeease.

  91. wackyvorlon

    Wait. People actually think it’s a log? I thought they were joking!

  92. Leonard V. Asiimwe

    What’s being seen as a log is actually a highly raised vast piece of rock in form of a table mountain.the dark appearance is a shadow formed on the opposite side due to sunlight fading away the other end.notice the relative positions of the shadows on other land scapes.here i assume that the martian space has no atmospere hence we can look directly at the surface.

  93. John

    No, it is not a log. Clearly it is the top of deeply buried and weathered obelesk! Now all we need are the apes throwing a bone in the air…

  94. Ron

    You’re all mad. That’s not even a photo of Mars. It’s like the whole “walking on the moon” conspiracy. It never happened.

  95. Mick

    how come it is in black and white when all the other photos from Mars have been shown in color

  96. Keith

    It’s Log! Log! It’s big, it’s heavy it’s not real

  97. dave

    Well Phil,

    You seem pretty sure of yourself and are pretty quick to insult others. It is the “pareidolia” that is part of the mystery and intrigue that motivates humans to continue to explore. I am a wood worker and I can see where this looks like a fossilized log. Do I believe this is a log….It would be wrong of me to say it is or it is not. I think so many “christians” are afraid of their worlds crumbling in when they discover that Jesus was not special, he was not some gods son, and that the world is not 5 thousand years old. Yes people, we more than likely came from another place in the universe, whether through bacteria from an asteroid interacting with another life form or millions of years of evolution, perhaps we were indeed seeded here on earth!? Who knows, no one does, it is all opinion. But I do know this; I do not believe that there is a guy in a flowing robe who if you don’t believe in you go to a flaming pit in the earth ROFL!! I believe we are very infantile in our understanding of the universe and anything is possible. Until religion is done away with, we will continue to be ignorant in wanting to find the truth. Religion is a drug that distracts the people from the obvious. We are not the top of the food chain in the universe.

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