It’s not a stairway to heaven – it’s a doorway to Mars.
The image of what appears to be a symmetrical, hand-carved Martian portal, captured on May 7 by NASA’s Curiosity rover, has sparked a cosmic array of speculation, conspiracy theories and dreams of intelligent life about the red planet.
“If you zoom in all the way, you can see Matt Damon crouching inside the door,” a sage noted on Reddit.
In reality, “it’s just the space between two fractures in a rock,” Mars Science Laboratory project scientist Ashwin Vasavada told technology site Gizmodo on Friday, adding “we walked through a zone that formed at from ancient sand dunes”. These dunes cement through the eons, creating rocky outcrops, while shifting sands would reveal different images of the planet’s surface over time.
The gate would have been carved by very small Martians: the rock fracture is only a foot high, Vasavada said.
His statement from Debbie Downer did not dampen the Martian rumor.
“What if it was only a few centimeters?” How do we know how tall our overlords will really be? a conspiracy theorist posted on Reddit.
“I think what we have here [is] either two vertical fractures, where the middle piece was pulled out, or one vertical fracture, and the blocks moved apart a bit,” Vasavada said.
The planetary portal is just the latest in a long list of familiar objects that space enthusiasts have seen on Mars. Past photos of her landscape have revealed images of spoons, squirrels, campfires and women wearing dresses, Gizmodo reports.