**Mars Bear Pareidolia: Discovering the Alluring Bear Formation Curiosity Rover Spotted on the Red Planet**
Scientists have recently found a unique geological formation on Mars resembling a bear-shaped structure smiling up to the sky. The image was captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) probe and was shared by the University of Arizona (UA). The MRO was cruising at around 251km above the Red Planet when this structure was sighted on December 12, 2022.
This peculiar discovery has been named a pareidolia, which is an illusion within everyday objects, although this one being of a bear-shaped crater. Alfred McEwen, HiRISE principal investigator, stated that this feature is as a result of a V-shaped collapse structure (the nose), two craters (the eyes) and a circular fracture pattern (the head) all concentrated in the center of an ancient crater. Furthermore, it is believed that this ‘snout’ may be an indicator of volcanic or mud vent activity.
This engulfing Martian Bear formation is not the only one discovered in recent times. In May 2021, NASA’s Curiosity rover spotted a rock formation that resembled an ‘alien door’, and similarly in February 2021, it captured an image of a rock formation, seemingly like a person hanging out on Mars. Furthermore, Chinse lunar rover Yutu 2 seemed to spot a “mystery hut” in Moon.
What wonders await us as scientists explore the endless boundaries of space?
This article was edited by Felipe Espinosa Wang.