MESSENGER contacts the Borg

By Phil Plait | December 23, 2008 8:25 am

You think I’m kidding? How else do you explain this picture?

MESSENGER betrays humanity. I knew NASA was up to something.

That’s obviously the Borg Queen. Sure, NASA says it’s the crater Kertész located on the western edge of the monster Caloris basin on Mercury, but what better place to hide a Borg infestation? It’s obvious as well that the small crater with the bright rays coming from it is the evidence of either some sort of transwarp experiment, or a hyperdimensional corridor leading to the Delta Quadrant.

Hey, it makes as much sense as it being the Virgin Mary, or a UFO, or a crop circle.


Comments (43)


    It’s Homer Simpson saying: “D’oh!”

  2. DavidHW

    Looks more like Lucille Ball c. 1950 with a severe head wound over her left eye.

  3. Todd W.

    It’s Mr. Bill’s head upside down. He got squished by a meteor.

  4. kuhnigget

    Nah, it’s one of those Whitley Strieber big-eyed aliens with a cowpie slapped on his head. (The hazards of going after those cow recta, dontcha know.)

    Seriously tho, why would the interior of the crater be so bright, and apparently (?) domed up like that? Would it just be a sign that the terrain is really fractured and smooshed up? Or did it fill with brighter material after the impact?

  5. Bein'Silly

    What tennis dude Borg? Can’t see no racket there .. 😉

  6. Negatron

    So what made the bright crater, comet?

  7. Bein'Pedantic

    MESSENGER *contacts* the Borg …

    What they were authorised to send a radio message to that thing in the crater?

    What did they send to it?
    Any response yet? 😉


    Capt. Jean-Luc Picard as Locutus

  9. Bein'Silly

    MESSENGER *contacts* the Borg …

    What they were authorised to send a radio message to that crater for some reason?

    What message did the MESSENGER send it?

    (Did they send a mesenger to ask the MESSENGER should send the message? 😉 Did they message that messenger to see about messenging from the MESSENGER? Did they ..yeah alright ’nuff alreddy.)

    Any reply yet? 😉


    PS. Sorry if this comes thro’ twice .. tried once & post didn’t make it. (as ‘Bein’pedantic”)

  10. Mixed Soapies

    DavidHW Says December 23rd, 2008 at 8:51 am :

    ,i>”Looks more like Lucille Ball c. 1950 with a severe head wound over her left eye.”

    Is ‘I love Lucy getting confused with the really ancient old soapie with the “one of these days .. (curls fist) KAPOW! Right to the Moon!”

    (or Mercury in this case!) 😉

    Hidden ‘Futurama’ ref there too folks!

    Domestic violence circa 1950’s as allegory / metaphor / whatever for lunar space mission dream ..

  11. I thought it was Pinhead from Hellraiser. The LHC finally opened a portal to another dimension!


  12. Radwaste

    …and the Borg reply was, “You already have ‘hope’ and ‘change’. We don’t need to do anything.”

  13. Jeff Fite

    Just wait ’til Richard Hoagland sees this!

    Phil, should this post also be tagged “Pareidolia?”

    @kuhnigget: Your father was a hamster and your mother smelt of elderberries.

    @Negatron: Bright rays means that the crater is young–there hasn’t been time for the Mercurean (Hermean? Mercurial? Quicksilverian?) regolith to be darkened by solar radiation. (UV, I think.)

  14. slag

    Looks to me like Jessica Rabbit was assimilated. Or maybe that sewn together girl from ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’

  15. Kidding aside, that’s one funky crater.

  16. billsmithaz

    > Jessica Rabbit was assimilated.

    “I’m not bad. I’m just imaged that way.”

  17. Dan Veteran

    It’s either Christ or Mary.

    I would like to assimilate Jessica Rabbit…..

  18. I, for one, welcome our new incredibly sun-tanned overlords.

  19. Egaeus

    “Hey, it makes as much sense as it being the Virgin Mary, or a UFO, or a crop circle.”

    No it doesn’t! Those things are REAL!

  20. A UFO? I didn’t realize science had advanced so far that there is nothing left to be identified. But hey I am sure this generation is spot on and we really are only one or two discoveries away from understanding all there is to know about the universe.

  21. JoeSmithCA

    Alright if the Kertesz crater is a Borg then I say the crater near the Agtet crater is proof aliens are really bad at creating stick figures :)

  22. kurt_eh

    It’s Stark from Farscape!

  23. Did I go through some hyperdimensional transwarp wormhole and end up on Richard Hoagland’s web-site? Hello? Phil? Phil Plait? Bad Astronomer?

  24. drksky

    I’m still trying to figure out how anyone is seeing the borg queen in that pic. Do I just not have any imagination whatsoever??

  25. Greg23

    Looks like H.R. Pufnstuf to me.

  26. Jeremy

    AAAH!! All our MESSENGER are belong to them!

  27. drksky:
    You’re not alone. Try as I might, I can’t find a Borg queen in that image, either. Perhaps Phil should post an annotated image?

  28. undercover


    There’s something in human nature, I’m not sure what it’s called but it’s the tendency to see faces! The same thing is with that “face” on Mars!

  29. Todd W.

    For the pareidoliacly challenged, turn your head to the left about 45 degrees. You can make out her mouth, right eye, and the machinery covering her left eye. Pale skin, bald head. Maybe squint a little.

  30. undercover

    Don’t get me wrong though! I’m not saying that we’re the only civilization in our galaxy or that ohter intelligent civilization don’t exist or have existefd because when a civilization reaches radio capability it also reaches the nuclear one and then, well… a nuclear war could be just around the corner!

  31. IVAN3MAN

    @ Greg23,

    Er… next time, try using

  32. Daniel J. Andrews

    Are you implying that moon craters are crop circles? ;-))

  33. Jeremy

    @ Daniel…

    You know the moon is made of cheese. So these “craters” are in fact similar to crop circles in that they are a design created in a field meant for produce. Although, I suggest everyone start calling “craters” Cheese Circles instead… it makes much more sense to me.

  34. Todd W.

    For the pareidoliacly challenged, turn your head to the left about 45 degrees. You can make out her mouth, right eye, and the machinery covering her left eye. Pale skin, bald head. Maybe squint a little.

    Okay, I see something now. I don’t remember the Borg queen wearing lipstick, however.

  35. JB of Brisbane

    Some others beat me to it, but I’ll write it anyway – Richard Hoagland’s “Face on Mercury”.
    Did anyone explain why the probe is named MESSENGER in all caps, instead of Messenger in italics? Is it an acronym rather than a name?

  36. Chris A.


    Yep. MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging.

  37. Ah that is Jesus, smiling 😛

  38. Jim

    It’s C3-PO dressed as the Phantom of the Opera.

  39. loosely_coupled

    I do like your blog, but I can’t be the only one who is getting annoyed with how much you *always* have to inject snarky remarks about UFOs. Yes, we get it — you are a skeptic that will never consider the possibility of alien visitation until an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands in your backyard. I respect your position as a scientist, but I think it is short-sighted and simply unfair to reflexively dismiss all the individuals who have come forward with information, whether they are average citizens who claim to have seen aerial phenomena of some kind, or second hand accounts from family members of military officials who claim they were privy to official information on ET activity/incidents.

    Understandably, I’m sure that the vast majority of eye witness UFO reports are misidentifications of terrestial aircraft, weather phenomena, or of an astronomical nature — most commonly involving observations of points of light in the night sky, the majority of which are easily explained. Many other reports originate from UFO “enthusiasts” who have a vested interest in the phenomena, while others come from individuals on the fringe of society and/or those afflicted with mental illness.
    These types of common and unremarkable “UFO” reports are of course favored by the skeptic orthodoxy, who just love the opportunity to perpetuate the stereotypes associated with UFO reports and ridicule anyone who expresses even the slightest desire to learn more about the phenomena —- regardless of their educational achievement, academic background or respect for empirical science. They are all to be treated as naive and credulous individuals who don’t understand science.

    However, as much as the skeptics try to avoid them, a small percentage of the eyewitness accounts are
    very difficult to explain away. They are often extraordinary reports, with circumstances in which witnesses see foreign craft in broad daylight from very short distances away – able to describe in detail their shape, size and markings; with these crafts often performing feats of acceleration that are beyond our recognized laws of physics. Many of these reports come from credible witnesses such as commercial and military airplane pilots familiar with aircraft, law enforcement, public figures and professional who have no interest in ruining their reputation, etc.. Some of the most famous cases have a dozen or even hundreds of other witnesses, sometimes in many different cities in a region that all describe similar craft without having met.

    Other interesting potential information comes from individuals who either themselves or their family members witnessed certain events or were privy to information within the military or other branches of government that would be consistent with UFO or alien phenomena, including everything from original Roswell employees who spoke on their deathbed about the famous incident, to more subtle cases where individuals overheard or uncovered information that would lead them to believe there is much more to the UFO story than is being revealed.

    What I am trying to say is that alien aircraft may or may not exist, and they may or may not be visiting earth, and however unlikely it is, the possibility still exists. Considering how monumental such a revelation would be for both science and humanity itself, I feel it is as much a disservice to science and critical thinking to completely ignore all the non-physical evidence of UFO phenomena and ridicule those who attempt to elucidate the truth as it is to advocate and perpetuate belief in pseudo-science.

    As you surely know better than I, there are many interesting unexplained phenomena in our world that science has not even begun to tackle. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the evolution of science and humanity’s view of the universe over the next five hundreds years was monumentally more dramatic of a shift in understanding than over the last five centuries since Copernicus. I’m confident that this will include discovery and revelation of intelligent life elsewhere in our universe.

    Without getting too deep into a tangent here, I also wouldn’t be surprised at all if this progress lead to a much more harmonious relationship between science and spirituality (not dogmatic religion).
    I’m going to take a wild guess here and assume you are a dedicated materialist/atheist. While I don’t advocate credulous belief in religious dogma and historical events taken from ancient texts or the paradoxical concept of a judgmental, all-powerful deity that personally created humanity and intervenes in our lives, (I’m more interested in eastern philosophy) I will say that I believe that fundamentally, consciousness is not solely a biological phenomenon, but a force that not only transcends our Earthly life, but perhaps is the foundation for the very existence of the universe. In essence, it is the only thing that truly exists and that from which matter, energy, and empty space are created. How science could actually approach this as a topic of study, or if we as humans are even capable of understanding it, I have no idea.
    My point is that no one has any empirical evidence of either consciousness being independent of the brain (and much evidence to the contrary) or the existence of spiritual realms, reincarnation, etc. All of the evidence for this scenario (or related) of existence is anecdotal and subjective, coming from Buddhist monks, Hindu yogis and gurus, tribal shamans, individuals who claim to have psychic abilities, individuals who have had near-death experiences or fully-lucid out-of-body experiences, individuals who have used hallucinogenic compounds, even committed materialists and atheists who have spontaneous mystical experiences that forever change their life. The closest science gets to this concept would probably be the effect that measurement (and therefore consciousness itself) has in quantum mechanics, or perhaps the latest multi-dimensional theories of the universe.

    Similar to UFO phenomena, despite there being no physical evidence (that we commonly know of), I think it would be silly to just ignore all of these diverse experiences of altered states of perception and consciousness if you are searching for meaning in life or the nature of existence.

    end of rant

  40. Craig

    Altered states of perception and consciousness? Like being drunk or stoned you mean?

  41. llewelly

    Yes, we get it — you are a skeptic that will never consider the possibility of alien visitation until an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands in your backyard.

    No, No, No, No, NO.
    You’ve got it all wrong.
    Phil is teamed up with the UN government NASA Masons Lizard People Illuminati MIB conspiracy to hide the TRUTH about extraterrestrial spacecraft, which REGULARLY land and mate with humans EVERY DAY.

  42. Radwaste

    Hmm. Here’s another example of pareidolia.

    Can you see Mary or Jesus in that picture, or are you an animal obsessed with something else?

  43. Buzz Parsec

    Umm, no, it’s 7 of 9. Definitely 7 of 9.

    But that’s not important. What is important is not the Borg Queen, but the Dairy Queen. Cheese comes from milk. Milk comes from cows. Aliens mutilate cows. Coincidence? I think not. Someone please explain this to me. My head hurts. I think it is because I am lactose-intolerant. Anyone ever see the documentary “They Live”, narrated by a former professional athlete and public figure Rowdy Roddy Piper, about the aliens among us who can only be seen by lactose-intolerant people who wear special filtering glasses (resembling sun glasses?)


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