New close-up of rocky outcropping that created the "face."
A massive shape on the surface of Mars in the likeness of a human face spawned countless conspiracy theories in recent decades, but modern technology now confirms it is simply a large, rocky hill in a Martian desert.
Back in July, 1976, the famous "face" photo was taken by the American Viking 1 Orbiter. Within days, enthusiasts were convinced the face was man-made or had been built by Martians aeons ago as part of an ancient civilization. There were many theories about the presence of the human-like face, and nearly all concluded that NASA was part of a huge cover-up to conceal the face’s true origins.
Now a new photo ~ taken with NASA’s high-definition HiRISE camera and released last week ~ reveals the craggy rock formations that create the effect of human features.
According to the London Mail:
This is the closest-ever image of the famous outcrop which should, once and for all, scotch the conspiracy theorists who believe that the 'face' is conclusive evidence of intelligent life on Mars.
Today's image was taken by HiRISE from on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which can pick out incredible detail from 300 kilometres above the planet’s surface. The rocky formation is known as a mesa, a large rocky outcrop with a flat top and steep, cliff-like sides. The Face’ mesa is in the Cydonia region and is a couple of miles long and a few hundred feet high.
. . . NASA even added to the theory by referring to the picture's human likeness in the caption it added to the photo when it first released it to the general public. The outcrop looked a little like a face, complete with eyes, nose and mouth, because of the angle of the sun and its cratered surface, and NASA happily pointed this fact out.
Seeing human faces in inaminate objects is known as "pareidolia" and is why so many people see what they believe is the face of Jesus in tea leaves, clouds and even burnt toast, the Mail pointed out. Carl Sagan believed humans are 'hard-wired' to find human faces wherever possible as part of our survival instinct.
Smaller photo shows the famous Martian "face."
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