Nasa's Curiosity rover has found
a ball on the surface of Mars. The Mastcam on Curiosity snapped the spherical object sitting on a flat rock on the Red Planet. Have the Martians been practising for the Ryder Cup? A camera on Nasa's Curiosity rover photographed a spherical rock on the surface of the red planet Nasa/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Nasa experts say the ball is not anything too exciting – it is probably just one centimetre wide and an example of a geological process called concretion.
The rover also took a photo of what looks like a
set of traffic lights protruding from the ground. Traffic lights on Mars, as captured by Nasa's Curiosity rover Nasa/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Over the years, conspiracy theorists and bloggers with over-active imaginations have spotted all sorts of things on the Red Planet, including a fossilised dinosaur thigh bone, a military helmet, several rats and an iguana.
These are all examples of Pareidolia, the psychological need to see significance in random data, such as seeing faces in clouds.
Way back in 1976, the Viking 1 Orbiter photographed this face on Mars, launching countless theories of intelligent life on Mars. It turned out to be a mesa (or hill) in the Cydonia region Nasa Viking Orbiter 1 spotted another face on Mars in 1976. This smiley in Galle crater was imaged at higher resolution by the Mars Global Surveyor in 1999 Nasa In 2007, Nasa's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this famous image of the figure of a woman sitting on the Red Planet. The Internet, predictably, went ballistic. Just a rock, said Nasa Nasa An eagle-eyed space enthusiast, poring over Curiosity images, spotted this rat. Or lizard. Or rat-lizard. Some people suggested it was the result of Nasa experimentation on the Red Planet. Others suggested some people should step away from the computer Nasa Is there life on Mars? Yes, herds of smiling elephants roam the Red Planet. (Well, it's actually a Martian lava flow) Nasa OK, this one really does look like a bone on the surface of Mars (if not the fossilised dinosaur thigh bone imagined by some over-eager Mars fans) Nasa A rock that looked like an iguana was spotted by Curiosity in January 2013 Nasa A discarded World War Two military helmet on the surface of Mars? No, just a rock Nasa A finger, complete with fingernail? No, just a rock Nasa Of all of the odd things spotted on Mars, the best one has to be this giant penis accidentally drawn on the surface of the planet by the tracks on one of Nasa's Mars rovers Nasa