NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance captures ‘shark fin’ and ‘crab claw’


Something fishy might happen on Mars.

NASA’s Perseverance spacecraft captured an image on the Red Planet of two rocks that resemble, respectively, a shark’s fin and a crab’s claw.

The car-sized robot arrived on Mars on February 18, 2021, and has been exploring Jezero Crater, looking for any sign of life on Mars before. But these oddly shaped rocks were an unexpected surprise.

Perseverance is currently traveling through an ancient river delta that was once a 16,000-foot-deep lake.

The images, taken on August 18, 2023, are an example of the phenomenon of pareidolia.

Pareidolia occurs when the brain takes what the eye sees and turns it into an image that appears meaningful and does not reflect reality, as when the face of Jesus Christ appears on a piece of burnt toast.

It’s not the first time that something on Mars has been the subject of pareidolia.

NASA’s Perseverance rover captured an image on the surface of Mars of two separate rocks – they look like a shark’s fin and a crab’s claw.
@NASAPersevere / Twitter

One of the most famous examples of this phenomenon is the “face on Mars”, an image taken by NASA’s Viking 1 spacecraft in July 1976, which appeared to be carved into a face with two eyes, a nose and a mouth. NASA explained that the illusion was a result of the shadows, but the face sparked discussion nonetheless.

NASA I posted the photo From Shark Fin Rocks and Crab Claw on X (formerly Twitter), as part of their Picture of the Week series.

“This rock duo has been spotted hanging out together in a windswept area. I’m spying on… crab claw? Shark fin?” the tweet said. Comment below what you see!

Perseverance is currently inside Jezero Crater exploring an ancient river delta that was once a 16,000-foot-deep lake.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via Reuters

Many people in the responses also saw the animal underwater, but others saw things like a coffee bean, a stegosaurus, a pair of lips, and a turtle’s head.

Although Mars was covered in water billions of years ago, there is no evidence that the now desolate planet ever had any inhabitants, and these images don’t change that.

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