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NASA’s Martian Spots for Stubbornness Delightfully Crazy Rocks (Hello, Ass)

Software engineer Kevin Gill spotted this brachiosaurus-shaped rock in images taken by the Mars rover Perseverance on Mars.

NASA / JPL-Caltech / Kevin Gil

This story is part of Welcome to Mars, our series exploring the red planet.

NASA’s Perseverance rover is on Mars to get serious about science, but that doesn̵

7;t mean we can’t have fun with some of the weirder rocks the wheeled explorer has spotted since landing in February.

It has a long history with Mars and pareidolia – the human tendency to see familiar objects in random forms. I spent hours once search for “faces” in images from NASA’s Curiosity rover, just for fun. Space fans have seen the imagination rocks and formations that look like bone, fish, blueberries and even a spoon.

With a few fields of imagination and a willingness to be stupid, you can find all sorts of fun shapes dotted on the floor of Jezero Crater. Here are some of the best so far.


Software engineer Kevin Gill, a data controversy at NASA-JPL, has extensive experience in processing images of Mars for the pleasure of space fans. He noticed an elegant stone snapped by the rover on April 15.

“Oooh, it looks like NASA Sustainability has found a tiny petrified brachiosaurus on Mars,” tweeted Gil.

The small stone had a long “neck”, a small “head” and a large body, which made it look like a famous large dinosaur, eating vegetation. To me, this unusual rock looks like No-Face from the Studio Ghibli Spirited Away movie.

“Butt rock”

Space writer Jason Major spotted a croup-shaped rock in the distance in an image of a rover from February. “Perseverance probably won’t bother to study it, but I hope someone writes it down as an ‘asshole,'” said Major’s shoe.

Perseverance got a clearer look at the “ass” a month later. And it still looks a bit like the back.

NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance took a closer look at the “ass” on April 22, 2021.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Like we’ve seen all kinds heart-shaped objects in places outside in space, perhaps derrier-shaped stones will become hot targets for the cameras of Perseverance.

“Strange” rock

The first widely known rock from the mission dates back to the end of March, when The rover looked at a 6-inch long object that NASA described as “strange.” Researchers have suggested that it may be a meteorite or a weathered piece of rock base.

NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance opened a view of this strange rock on March 28. If you look closely to the right of the center, you can see a series of miniature signs where the rover’s laser has thrown it.

NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU

With NASA’s previous rovers as a model, we can expect more pictures of fun, intriguing and downright fun Martian rocks as Perseverance makes its way through the crater.

With other rovers who have already spotted a spoon, a pancake, fruits and “jelly donut, “we could use a few more food items and table settings to make a complete dish of pareidolia.

Follow CNET’s 2021 space calendar to keep up with the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your own Google Calendar.

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