The Shady Opening Underneath This Martian Rock Is Probably Not An Entrance To A Secret Underground Base

Credit: Pixabay

In a snapshot taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover the other week, the robot captured a strange sight on the martian surface: an apparently oblong and gloomy entrance in the planet’s rocky outcroppings.

(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

On May 7, the Mastcam just on the Curiosity rover obtained this picture as it climbed Mount Sharp. Conspiracy fanatics may be ecstatic, but the blurry black-and-white photograph almost certainly does not depict the entry into an extraterrestrial culture.

Rock specialists have determined that it’s just the gap between 2 cracks. Researchers say we’ve been traveling through a region created by old sand dunes. Those sand dunes are made of sandstone after they were glued collectively over a long period of time.

The sand dunes compressed together and got submerged and then re-exposed when the sand on Mars’ crust changed, creating the foot-high crack. The sandstone buckled and fractured in various areas as a result of the variable pressures it was subjected to throughout this cycle.

Fissures in this region tend to be vertical in nature. One of two things caused this specific fracture to take on the form it does. Both vertical cracks, where the center chunk has been missing, or 1 vertical split, where the stones have shifted apart a tiny bit, are possible here.

The rover named Curiosity has already been exploring the Martian surface since it touched down in Gale Crater during August 2012. The spacecraft has subsequently traveled 17.3 miles (27.84 km) across 3,472 Martian days, or sols. Curiosity uses its wide Mastcam to snap pictures while it’s not out gathering rock & soil materials.

When we encounter familiar shapes in a new environment, we are more likely to recognize them. In the past, individuals have claimed to have spotted a variety of strange objects on Mars.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.