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Bones, balls, coffins, people, and more – what’s with all the anomalous objects spotted on the surface of Mars?

Weird anomalous object on Mars - Another Face on Mars

As quickly as NASA publishes unbelievably detailed photographs of the Martian surface, people back home find odd and unusual objects within those photos. Of course, NASA always discounts the newfound anomalous objects as natural rock formations.

Matters were clouded in early 2014 when observant researchers found “before and after” photos proving that NASA occasionally “cleans up” some of their photos (and videos). NASA calmly explained that in some instances, camera imperfections must be corrected using software – like Photoshop. Still, despite NASA’s proven manipulation of the Mars photographs, eagle-eyed researchers continue finding unusual anomalies in the photographs of the Martian surface and ask, “Have you *ever* in your life seen a natural rock formation on Earth that looks like that?”

Is it pareidolia (finding recognizable shapes in chaos), NASA manipulation of images, or evidence of a civilization on a nearby planet that has long since disappeared? Who cares – it’s entertainment! Here is a collection of some of the unusual sights found on Mars to date.

The Thigh Bone

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Thigh Bone
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Thigh Bone

Resembling a fossilized femur bone, this odd object was explained by NASA as a “shiny-looking rock” that had been sculpted by erosion (either wind or water). Others, however, pointed out the impossibility of wind and erosion shaping a rock in such a bizarre manner. The Thigh Bone was found on the Red Planet in August 2014.

The Rodent or Mars Rat

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Rodent or Mars Rat
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Rodent or Mars Rat

Looking like a mouse or squirrel laying on its stomach, the Mars Rat was captured (on film) by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity in September 2012 and generated a lot of Internet interest after viewers noted the features – eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, legs – of the cute little creature were easily discernible.

The lizard

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Lizard
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Lizard

This one’s a bit tougher to explain as a rock as the features are very clear and include a long, thin tail which seemingly would be an impossible shape to be formed by natural erosion. The object was reportedly discovered by a Japanese researcher in March 2013 and appears to show a tail, four legs, and other obvious characteristics of a lizard.

The frozen woman

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Frozen Woman

Photographed by the NASA rover Spirit, this frozen woman perched on a rock had many wondering if the rain of fire over Sodom and Gomorrah took place on Mars instead. The photo looks remarkably like a female figure with an outstretched arm. The image was sent back to Earth by the Mars Spirit rover in 2008.

The Iguana

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Iguana

The Iguana was discovered by an eagle-eyed enthusiast on November 6, 2013, in photos taken by the Mars Curiosity rover. NASA was informed of the finding but refused to turn the rover back to investigate further.

The Ball

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Ball

Shaped like a perfect sphere, the Ball was discovered late in 2014 by the Curiosity rover on sol 746 atop a rocky outcrop. The perfectly round object sits atop a flat rock and looks like a dirty cannonball. NASA explained it as “concretion”.

The Martian Totem pole

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Martian Totem Pole

Maybe not a totem pole (or traffic stoplight) but what is this bizarre structure?

The Jelly Donut

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Jelly Donut (NASA altered)
Before and after pics of The Jelly Donut suggest NASA manipulation of images

The Jelly Donut wasn’t known as much for its unusual appearance as the fact that it appeared on Mars during a 12-day period when Opportunity wasn’t looking. The unusual object simply materialized out of thin air right in front of Opportunity. Some suggested the image was manipulated by NASA but for what reason is anybody’s guess.

The Snake Fossil

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Snake Fossil

This unusual item, called the Snake Fossil, was found in the NASA-JPL-MSSS image taken at 29.65 degrees West and 39.20 North and looks like the fossilized bones of a snake.  Many “rock formations” such as this have been found in Mars surface photographs.

Skulls on Mars

Weird anomalous object on Mars - Skulls on Mars
Weird anomalous object on Mars - Stormtrooper helmet on Mars
Weird anomalous object on Mars - Skull on Mars

Several instances of skulls, both human and animal, have reportedly been found on the Martian surface, including one that looks like a Stormtrooper helmet.

And heads…

Weird anomalous object on Mars - head on Mars (Obama)

In at least one instance, a complete head with clear and distinct facial features was found (many say it looks like President Barack Obama).

The Golden Disc

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Golden Disc

The Golden Disc was discovered in December 2014 in NASA’s photojournal (PIA17083) and featured a disc-shaped object nestled between a pair of rocks.  It stood out not only because of its unusual shape, but its shiny, golden hue which clearly indicated it was some sort of alien metallic object sitting on the surface of Mars, most likely a UFO or weather balloon.

The Coffin

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Coffin
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Coffin (close)

The “Coffin” was found in a December 2014 NASA photo taken by the Mars Rover and clearly shows a linear, rectangular-shape object that resembled a manmade coffin or box of some sort.

The iconic face on Mars

Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Face on Mars

And who could forget the iconic 1976 image of the Face on Mars which was later explored by NASA and described as a natural rock formation. Ah well, at least we tried.

Image Credits

Weird anomalous object on Mars - Another Face on Mars via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Thigh Bone via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Thigh Bone via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Rodent or Mars Rat via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Rodent or Mars Rat via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Lizard via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Lizard via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Frozen Woman via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Iguana via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Ball via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Martian Totem Pole via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Jelly Donut (NASA altered) via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Snake Fossil via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - Skulls on Mars via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - Stormtrooper helmet on Mars via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - Skull on Mars via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - head on Mars (Obama) via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Golden Disc via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Coffin via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Face on Mars via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
Weird anomalous object on Mars - The Coffin (close) via NASA with usage type - Public Domain

Featured Image Credit

Weird anomalous object on Mars - Another Face on Mars via NASA with usage type - Public Domain
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