‘Mars Rat’ Spotted by Curiosity Rover Sparks Web Frenzy

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A panoramic photo snapped by the Curiosity Mars rover has sparked somewhat of web frenzy in recent weeks.

The picture, taken in September of 2012, was recently analyzed by UFO enthusiasts at UFO Sightings Daily, who claim that they have found a picture of what looks to be a rodent on the red planet. Dismissed by some scientists as nothing more than an oddly shaped and shadowed rock formation, ufologist Scott Waring has a different take on what it might be.

“A lot of people are emailing me saying that this squirrel was part of a NASA experiment to test  how long it would live on the surface of Mars and I do believe this does sound like something they might do,” Waring said at his web site.

It’s certainly plausible that NASA would engage in such experiments. Whether they did or not is anyone’s guess, because no official records of the tests exist. Perhaps they chose not to release such tests because, as Waring notes, “the squirrel would be expected to die eventually and that would get PETA to fight against them.”

Squirrel, rodent or rock?

You’ll have to decide for yourself, because sending a forensic investigation team 36 million miles through space is just not going to work.

You can view the original NASA photo here.

Picture analysis and close-ups are available below:

Mars Rat
(courtesy NASA JLP/Caltech)

mars-rat2b
(courtesy UFO Sightings Daily)

mars-rat3b
(courtesy UFO Sightings Daily)

Perspective: An live earthbound squirrel (shown below):

mars-rat4b
(courtesy UFO Sightings Daily)

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  • Derek the Donkey

    I smell a rat here LOL

  • Locus

    I have enough interest in geology that the prospect of it being a rock instead of a squirrel or a martian excites me most of all.

    I just cannot contain my zeal. I feel the need to post messages everywhere saying “It’s a rock! Rejoice!” After all what good is a squirrel. With a rock you can squash a squirrel but you cannot squash a rock with a squirrel.

    • Jean

      You CAn crush a rock with a squirrel, For sufficiently large sizes of squirrel….

      😉

  • agmand

    Looks like another piece of rock to me …

  • FatherPatriot

    Maybe it’s not a picture of mars and it’s just out in the nevada/utah/arizona desert somewhere. You can find it in the original photo provided by the link.

  • Billy C

    It’s a rock.

  • andrew

    Its some kind of rodent, you can see paws and eyes. No shock here, why would earth be the only planet in this glorious universe to have life.

  • None of your business

    More likely they never sent a rover to Mars, but instead faked the event. This is the result of them not policing the faked pictures well enough before releasing them.
    Who is stupid enough to believe there are squirrels on Mars or that they kept a squirrel alive to transport it to Mars to die?

  • Jean

    I would LOVE for it to be either an undocumented or accidental experiment, but more likely – it’s a rock. Look at the “shoulder” region. The light doesn’t show curvature, but a flat face. So… 🙁 Rock it is.