It's so clear. (NASA/JPL-CalTech/MSSS)

One day I'll wake up and decide I'm done responding to crazy alien conspiracies from the Internet, but today is not that day.

The latest: A new shot of Mars, courtesy of NASA, ostensibly shows some kind of godlike figure, hewn from Martian stone.

Basically, someone thinks they spotted a naked lady on Mars. Again.

What, you don't see it? Let's zoom in.

(NASA/JPL-CalTech/MSSS/The Washington Post)

No? Okay.

Long story short, if you zoom way, way, way in and squint, this kind of looks like a person. According to UFO bloggers, it's a relic from an ancient, intelligent civilization on Mars. Worth noting: Even on the UFO conspiracy Web site, some commentors are pointing out that this one is a bit of a stretch.

Most of you probably realize that this is just another case of pareidolia -- the human brain's tendency to find patterns where there are none.

[Stephen Hawking announces $100 million hunt for alien life]

That doesn't mean there was never life on Mars. In fact, recent evidence has made a pretty solid case for liquid water on the planet, which means it could at least hypothetically support some kind of microbial life. It's likely that Mars was once much wetter than it is now, so we really can't rule out something having evolved and survived there at one time.

Why would NASA cover up the existence of giant, humanoid statues on Mars when such structures would no doubt get the agency all the funding and public support it needs to launch a crewed mission there?


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