back to article Curiosity photographs mysterious metal object on Martian rock

Image analysis of shots taken by the Curiosity rover's MastCam last month appears to have revealed a shiny metal object sticking out of a rock on the Martian surface. Italian imaging specialist Elisabetta Bonora was going over Curiosity's latest photographs and found the object in a set of pictures taken by the rover on January …

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Anonymous Coward

We should ignore it

mainly because doing so will drive the usual conspiracy theorists insane, thereby providing much entertainment.

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Happy

Re: We should ignore it ---- Why?

OK all reality to the wind here....

To me it looks like a door handle to an underground vault.

OK I am very interested see what it actually is, but "Far Out" - wouldn't you trip if it was.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We should ignore it

just have a look on Google Maps for AREA 51 and you'll find it if you look long enough ;-)

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It begins

To me it looks like a door handle to an underground vault.

The whole audience: Just don't pull that door handle, Curiosity!!

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Re: We should ignore it

yeah, Desmond's probably under there and you know he has no time for visitors (he has to keep reseting that timer)

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Alien

Re: We should ignore it ---- Why?

Looks like an eroded 'spirit of ecstasy' from a Rolls Royce, did Elvis have a Rolls? Come to think of it Lord Lucan did..... aaaaahhh

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We should ignore it

Already has. Surprised Reg took so long to dig it up. Been on some nut sites for a week.

Many strange things found, almost nothing is ever explained. I understand NASA can't run off every time something strange pops up, but hopefully this will make it on a list of things to check out. the rover cant be far away, it doesn't move fast.

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Meh

Re: We should ignore it ---- Why?

If it's a door handle, then there should be some other pieces of evidence to back that theory up:

- a door bell

- knockers (ooer)

- a letter box

- a door mat

- a hanging plant

- discarded milk bottles

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Happy

Re: We should ignore it ---- Why?

Door handle? Also looks like the flushing handle in our toilet. If Curiosity pulls it, it might find the resulting evidence of water overwhelming

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Don't go into that TRAP DOOR!

Because there's something down there.

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jai
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Re: Don't go into that TRAP DOOR!

thank you sir! i'm going to be humming the theme to that show now all day

(which is not a bad thing, so again, thanks!)

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Angel

Re: We should ignore it ---- Why?

Unless it's a manufactured object - or even a crystalised former life form, the shape of the base on / into the rock is circular and it's radiused from the base, up into the shaft, and then there is the handle (like) bar on top....

On a big brown shit hole, with rocks, dust and sand... it's very "non typical" in every respect - like shape, colour, design etc....

While it COULD be some kind of crystal, or fossilised sea anenome, or kelp root, which may be totally feasable, it also happens to look much like an older style safe door handle.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't go into that TRAP DOOR!

And you got downvoted?

Willy Rushton's spinning in his coffin!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: We should ignore it

On the original image

https://images.4chan.org/sci/src/1360593572190.jpg

there is an alien hiding behind a rock looking at the big mechanical war machine sent from planet 3 ...

I expect he will go into his control room and aim a big beam weapon at us.

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Re: We should ignore it ---- Why?

I for one welcome our door handle wielding Martian overlords.

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It's a bit of Beagle 2

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Black Helicopters

Somewhere in cuckoo land, Richard Hoagland just wet himself.

I like the idea of it being a piece of a crashed probe (there's not exactly a shortage of them), with the rest of the wreckage just out of view over the apparent drop behind it. Rocks are fun, but let's do a little artifact hunting too!

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Joke

Piss myself

If it had made in China on it

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Re: Piss myself

It's part of an old frying pan from a Chinese restaurant nearby. Is there anywhere in the galaxy that doesn't have one?

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Pint

Arm the laser!

Interesting certainly, and an uneasy feeling, looks skeletal.

Tho that could be the beer and my incomprehensible desire for ribs.

it is still Friday right?

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Re: Arm the laser!

There is nothing incomprehensible about a desire for ribs (preferably with BBQ sauce)

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Re: preferably with BBQ sauce

Or baby oil...

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Mushroom

Looks like a baby dinosaur to me...

One of those cute little ones.

No wait, there's hundreds of them... Aaarrggghhh...

It's the only way to be sure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looks like a baby dinosaur to me...

Yes, some sort of cross between a small lizard and a hammerhead shark.

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Re: Looks like a baby dinosaur to me...

Nope... It's the Martian version of the GEICO gecko :)

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Facepalm

Health And Safety Issue

In 300 years some stupid git is going to end up breaking his toe on that.

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Happy

Re: Health And Safety Issue

OMG you owe me a new keyboard!

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Pint

Re: Health And Safety Issue

It's the simple jokes like that that'll catch you unawares and make you spit out your drink. Bravo.

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Anonymous Coward

Looks like a knapped piece of flint or obsidian to me.

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Boffin

Looks like a twisted bit of metal to me, as though it was a vein in a rock and the surrounding rock has been eroded by dust, which has kept the finish on the metal looking bright and nickel-like.

Which is kinda cool when you think how long the thing must have been sat there for that to happen.

And I for one welcome our bent metal overlords....

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Hopefully they go back for a proper look.

Not much of a backtrack, go and dig it up.

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MrT
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It's a tap...

...couple of quick twists and it'll unlock a rich Martian atmosphere from behind what is clearly a door that, over time has become covered by rock.

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Go

Re: It's a tap...

Yes, I thought it looked suspiciously like a brass garden tap too. Probably why there is no water on Mars any more - the sprinkler was left off.

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Re: It's a tap...

Yes - darn it, I thought I had spotted it first!

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Happy

Re: It's a tap...

Actually Admiral Ackbar spotted it first.

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Alien

Wait for...

a martian emailing NASA, "thanks for finding my keys"

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Thumb Up

New "element"?

Doesn't this look like something that should be found in abundance, but apparently it is not. To me something like this would almost always be found in a scatter plot type of pattern, but just 1? It looks all too settled in to be any debris from anything we have passed up in space in the last 100 years, but it does look like it is just a shard. No aliens :-(

Out of curiosity, what is the protocol for giving a go ahead on using the bot's laser? If it fired upon something like this, how do you rule out an explosive ending?

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DJO
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Facepalm

Re: New "element"?

how do you rule out an explosive ending

With no free Oxygen*, quite easily.

*Or any suitable reagent.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New "element"?

"Out of curiosity, what is the protocol for giving a go ahead on using the bot's laser?"

...

"Out of curiosity"

I see what you did there.

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Holmes

Periscope.

Anyone can see it's a Martian periscope. They're watching us from underground. They've probably already perfected the craft of motoring their submarines through solid rock, like we do through water.

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Mushroom

Re: Periscope.

http://www.marspapers.org/papers/Mole_1999.pdf

This scientific paper shows us how to deal with it.

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Thumb Up

Re: Periscope.

'motoring their submarines through solid rock'

So in Jamie and the Magic Torch Mr Boo was actually an ancient martian submarine commander.

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Go

Original Image

Here is the original image showing the object:

http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/00173/mcam/0173MR0926020000E1_DXXX.jpg

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WTF?

Re: Original Image

Thanks for the image. I have no idea what this is. But it doesn't look natural in formation. Based on nearby rocks in this area.

Maybe this is alien made. But the sample would be needed go to Earth for confirmation on such matter. Guessing is useless I think in this case.

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Boffin

Re: Original Image

I have a geology A level, it's been a few years but I'm pretty sure that's a rock wang.

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Facepalm

Re: Original Image

Nice! Immediatly yoinked to my hard drive as the desktop background for my second monitor.

I guess I was wrong about there being a drop behind it, so it's probably not a large piece of wreckage from a probe. On the other hand, that object to its right is pretty darn weird too. I'm sure it's pareidolia, but it looks like a metal rabbit to me.

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Alien

Re: Original Image

Zoom in and you'll see it's nothing more exciting than a pair of sunglasses...

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Meh

Re: Original Image

http://curiosityrover.com/imgpoint.php?name=0173MR0926020000E1_DXXX shows that the image covers the path taken by Curiosity.

The object seems to be something the rover 'lost', deliberately or otherwise.

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Pint

Re: Original Image

"I have no idea what this is.... it doesn't look natural in formation.... Maybe this is alien made....But the sample would be needed go to Earth for confirmation on such matter."

Well, if someone with no qualifications in xeno-geology thinks it's worth launching another multi-billion dollar mission to bring it back because they think it might be made by aliens, that's good enough for me, and should be good enough for NASA, too.

"Guessing is useless I think in this case."

Yeah, where's a multi-ton robot tank, dripping with analysis tools, lasers and cameras when you need one, huh? That'd be dead handy right now!

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Alien

Re: Original Image

Deep Southern drawl...."Dat dere is one of then fangled ali-en ass probes what dun fell out out ma crack last time they dun took me up in the shiny suacer from ma truck on a that dark, lonely road back in '74!"

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