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NASA’s Mars Traveling Camera has discovered another oddity in the 750-mile-wide Jezero Crater, and some people are wondering if aliens are firing at our warp.
A boulder the size of a bowling ball was photographed precariously atop a leaning rock.
The discovery was announced just a day after NASA wondered if “the wind” had blown a piece of rocket insulation 2 km from the Perseverance Rover’s Mars entry point.
A photo of the formation was shared June 16 on Facebook, and NASA says it’s in an area named “Hogwallow Flats.” Rocks in the area are believed to be “up to 3.6 billion years old”.
“The rocks nearby are a sight to behold,” NASA reported. “Take a look at some of these close-ups. Tons of potential targets to study.
NASA didn’t specifically address the balanced rock, likely knowing that social media would flag it and raise questions. The post has since received 14,000 reactions and nearly 300 comments as of the morning of June 19, some of which called it “Martian basketball.”
“Who Balanced That Rock!?” Stephen Bukowski asks.
“The shape of this rock is not natural,” said Ahmad Ahmad Alawaj.
“Did you see an alien sitting on the rock?” Ravindu Nimsara asked.
Some have speculated that the rock was connected to the rock below and that it was simply an example of weaker stone that weathered around it over the centuries. A few even swore they saw a pedestal.
The space and astronomy news site Universe Today marveled that it had somehow become “perfectly balanced”.
“Knowing the history of this rock would certainly provide an interesting story, geologically speaking,” the site writes.
“What process or process could cause a rock to be in such an unlikely position? … It is highly unlikely that the rock was “dropped” in its present location. It is more likely that the rock was part of the original rock formation and over the millennia wind erosion has worn it down to its present form.
NASA cited weathering as the likely cause of several other strange formations seen on Mars, including a series of “spikes” photographed last month at Gale Crater.
Rocks near the “Martian basketball” formation appeared to be riddled with holes, and Universe Magazine Space Tech noted that one of them looked like a snake’s head sticking out of a rock face.
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