The Face of Mars: this is how technology dismantled conspiracy theories

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He July 25, 1976the special probe Viking 1 of the POT sent to earth photo that you can see in the opening of the news. The press quickly christened it with the name of the face of marsand around him arose all kinds of alien theories and conspiracy.

The photo shows what appears to be a human face, carved into the surface of Mars. More specifically, in the region of Cydonia. Has 1.5 kilometers wide.

NASA’s scientific explanation for this face on mars was clear (and correct) from the start. It is a rock formation where the shade caused by the Sun raysat an inclination of 20 degrees, produces the optical illusion of a face.

To this they contributed transmission failure of the viking probewhich added dots to the photo, and one of them coincidentally added a “nose hole” to the face.

The Face of Mars, an extraterrestrial civilization?

Virtually everyone who looks at that photograph sees a face. It is a defect of our vision system called pareidolia. It is a psychological characteristic of our brain that makes us see recognizable shapes where there are none.

We recently enjoyed another fun pareidolia effect in space, with the Laughing Sun.

But one thing is what our brain interprets, and quite another, reality. Science (and common sense) tells us that it is impossible for the sun to laugh. In the case of the face of marsmany people thought they saw proof of a alien civilization.

Articles, radio and television programs, and numerous books were devoted to this topic. The business was done.

It’s funny how some people tend to deny science, because they find what a pseudoscientist says, or a conspiracy theory, more “believable”. We are seeing it in our times with climate change or vaccines.

In the case of the face of marsthe supposed extraterrestrial civilization and other conspiracy theories were disassembled by the technology. Specifically, for something as simple as space cameras with higher resolution.

In 1998 and 2001, the probe Mars Global Surveyor took new photos of the face of marsfrom closer and with more resolution, which completely disassembled the shape of the Martian rock:

face of mars

In the new image, the shadow of the sun is gone. The greater detail allows to appreciate its real form, a mountain of rock on the martian soil.

Subsequent visits of the mars odyssey in 2002 and the Mars Express of the European Space Agency, obtained color imagesand from another perspective:

The Face of Mars

Beyond the attempt to do business of a few, there is a force established in the DNA of human beings that drives us to desperately believe that we are not alone in the universe.

From the face of mars to UFO sightings, there is a desire to find other intelligent beings like us. Unfortunately, science also reminds us that if these civilizations exist, it is very difficult for us to make contact.

face of mars

We know that no intelligent life nearbyand beyond, the distances are enormous. Science still does not know how to solve the problem of distance.

The face of mars is a curious example of pareidoliawhich ended up becoming a worldwide phenomenon, and gave rise to all kinds of alien theories and conspiracies. Everything was cleared up with something as simple as a higher resolution camera. The moral is simple: you have to believe in science.

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Written by Editor TLN

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