Today, UFO fans are freaking out over an image posted by NASA they claim shows a woman standing on a rock on Mars. And it sure looks like a woman, even though it isn’t! So, what’s the deal?
Where’s this woman on Mars?
AHHHH! JOHN CARPENTER WAS RIGHT! MARS IS HAUNTED!
Or, you know, it’s a dust cloud. It is not a human, we know that much: A human without a pressure suit on Mars would boil to death while they asphyxiated. So, unless Martians have hide-and-seek ultramarathons as their planet-wide sport, it’s unlikely to be any sort of life form.
But it looks a lot like a woman.
It does! That’s because our brains are wired to find faces and people everywhere. That’s an extremely common neurological phenomenon called pareidolia; it was a pretty strong evolutionary advantage to spot faces hidden in things, especially predator faces hidden in bushes, and it’s stuck with us ever since.
This isn’t the first time photography and our own minds have fooled us. Remember the “Face of Mars?” Yeah, here’s what it looks like without dramatic lighting.
Oh. So, basically, my brain is lying to me.
If it makes you feel any better, you can always put your faith in John Carpenter instead.