Wait, not really. I should change that headline to “Pareidolia found on Mars!”, but then you’d all shrug your shoulders and say, “so what else is new?” I’ve got to do something to suck you in.
Anyway, there’s this whole weird subculture that’s been around since at least the 90s — I recall spending some time arguing with Mark Carlotto, an “expert in image processing”, at a lecture in Philadelphia some years ago, and these people were off-the-wall even then. The fudging and cheating he was doing to turn Mars Orbiter photos into vistas of ancient ruined Barsoomian cities was disgraceful. But even he showed some integrity with to the tools of image enhancement (not much, some) compared to the other bozos who spend hours staring at photos from Mars and imagining all kinds of weird and amazing things. For example, here’s one that’s supposed to be a “complete side view of a fossilized fish”. Look upon it, and believe!
Oh, I better explain. The photo in the middle is an actual fossilized fish, from Earth. The picture at the top is a Martian mesa which someone thought looks like a fish, kinda like how this cloud outside my window right now looks like a woman’s breasts. In case you are unconvinced by the resemblance, the bottom picture is the same as the top one, with the fish drawn in by hand. That should persuade you, right?
Conveniently, they tell you what photo it’s taken from: it’s Mars Global Surveyor M0807345. Here’s a higher resolution photo of the same feature. The fishiness is even less apparent.
NASA also provides the scale for the image. That mesa is about 750 meters long! Somehow I don’t think it’s a fossil fish, unless they grew really big on Mars.
But there’s more! Here’s a feature that looks like a sculpted Olmec head, if you squint so hard your eyes are closed.
Those of you who didn’t quite close your eyes might have noticed something else: this is the very same feature that was called a fossil fish above. One orientation, fish; rotate it 90°, it becomes a stylized human head.
Shouldn’t someone have stopped at this point and realized that the similarities are entirely in the viewer’s head? But no, that’s no fun, not when you imagine you’re on the track of Martians. So let’s get weirder.
Here’s a picture of the Martian landscape; you can see the “fish” near the top. The rest looks like a jumble, so we’ve got to fix that with some sophistimacated image processing techniques. See the red line? They’re going to take everything on the right side of that line, and duplicate its mirror image to the left side, because apparently that’s how Martian brains work.
And when you add a plane of mirror symmetry, MAGIC!
It’s a tiger! Don’t you see it? It’s obvious!
You know, this is what our brain does all the time. Add a hint of bilateral symmetry (or cheat blatantly and artificially create the bilateral symmetry), and our brains fill in the details and impose an interpretation on it.
I’m sorry, Martian fan-guy, but all your photos show are rough-hewn mesas and barren fields strewn with rubble.