back to article NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter probe has spotted a rolling stone on Mars. On 3 July, the craft captured the image below, which NASA published this week and says depicts “a path resembling a dotted line from the upper left to middle right of this image is the track left by an irregularly shaped, oblong boulder as it tumbled …

  1. John Young 1

    Love the music references hehe

    1. Lionel Baden
      Coat

      It was pretty Puntastic !

    2. NoneSuch

      And when they were up, they were up,

      And when they were down, they were down,

      And when they were only half-way up,

      They were neither up nor down.

  2. Captain DaFt

    Darn!

    looks like it would have been a hole in one if it hadn't cut right on the green!

  3. MrT

    Pass me my towel...

    ...it looks more like the spine of a long-dead sperm whale that hit head first in the top-left before falling sideways - we need to check for tunnels. The smaller oval impacts are a bowl of petunias, a teacup and saucer, and a digital watch... the scale might be improbable, but there's a penguin here who assures me that anything's possible.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Pass me my towel...

      ..it looks more like the spine of a long-dead sperm whale that hit head first in the top-left before falling sideways - we need to check for tunnels. The smaller oval impacts are a bowl of petunias, a teacup and saucer, and a digital watch... the scale might be improbable, but there's a penguin here who assures me that anything's possible.

      It looks like your confusing Mars with The Legendary Planet of Magrathea. Which as any fule nos is right in the middle of the Horsehead Nebula now ain't it?, circling 'round those Twin Stars of Soulianis and Rahm. Some 1.500ly away from Sol!

      1. MrT

        Re: Pass me my towel...

        But, according to my talking penguin companion, given the level of improbability at which we were crujsing at the time, that positional transference was also entirely probable.

        It's a nice day so far - I wonder of there's a match on at Lord's? Ah, SEP, unless my giant running shoe-shaped conveyance can zap me there quickly...

  4. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Happy

    Stone me to my soul...

    It's just like a jelly roll....

    Or something like that!

  5. chivo243 Silver badge

    Earth has them too

    they are called by some, "sailing stones" at Racetrack Playa in Death Valley:

    http://www.livescience.com/37492-sailing-stones-death-valley-moving-rocks.html

    Maybe NASA needs to stop looking in the telescope all the time.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Earth has them too

      Indeed, and a gradient is not needed!

      http://archive.magazine.jhu.edu/2011/06/solving-the-mystery-of-death-valley%E2%80%99s-walking-rocks/

      Worth noting that Death valley is perhaps the fourth most similar place to Mars to be found on Earth. The Chilean high deserts are closer, also Namibia and - number one? - the cold dry deserts in Antarctica. Anyone know if the rocks walk there also?

    2. Just Enough
      FAIL

      Re: Earth has them too

      Yes. They're called; any time a rock has rolled down a hill, ever. It's very, very common on Earth.

      "Sailing Stones" are something entirely different, and this is not an example of Mars having them.

    3. Pookietoo

      Re: Earth has them too ... "sailing stones"

      Except the sailing stones slide across very flat ground, while the Martian rock has clearly tumbled down a slope.

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    If that 'boulder' is a pyramid

    then there's probably a single arm building it from inside, and moving every now and again when the animal inside gets too big.

    And watch out for Trweel flying past and landing on his beak.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: If that 'boulder' is a pyramid

      La vie siliceuse!

  7. Thomas 4

    *groan*

    The shameless jokes in El Reg are just getting boulder and boulder....

  8. Kaltern

    Rock Simulator is about to get an expansion pack...

  9. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Joke

    The stone ended upright? Just a menhir slung over-enthusiastically by Obelix, I'll wager.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      There are no roman camps on mars though.

  10. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Alien

    Phew

    They didn't spot the double green rings

  11. psychonaut

    holy Belgium man!

    yes but who...would want a motorised rock??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: holy Belgium man!

      Druids

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: holy Belgium man!

      Another motorised rock

      Sorry, it must be all the filthy elderflower wine my friend Ford has been making. Mine is the one with the radio play of the original series in the pocket

      1. psychonaut
        Mushroom

        Re: holy Belgium man!

        "another motorized rock"

        is the right answer! heres your prize....... 2 tickets to watch Disaster Area at their final gig....(see icon)

        ahh, i love the tv series and the books too, but you cant beat the original fits...

        lets not talk about the "film" though...

  12. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    "...and came to rest standing up at its full height."

    Is it monolithic? Full of stars, perhaps?

  13. Chris G Silver badge

    Holy Crap!

    The track reminds me of the track made by a dung beetle when they are pushing an elephant turd through the sand, the worry is not the two and a half to three metre dung beetle that pushed it, it's the size of the dung producer.

    1. Malcolm Abbott

      Re: Holy Crap!

      The thing is...... Did it fall, or was it pushed !!

  14. breakfast
    Coat

    How does it feel?

    It is clearly out on it's own, but that trail does provide a direction home and thanks to articles like this it is now relatively well known. From this we can conclude it is in fact unlike a rolling stone.

  15. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Huzzah! "Scientists" prove that gravity works on Mars!

  16. iranu

    A rolling stone gathers no regolith.

  17. Desidero

    Rocks off

    Had to roll before they made it run. Presumably all down the line.

  18. saif

    Did it fall or was it pushed?

    Methinks there is more to this...Martians playing skipping stones rather than rolling stones

    1. king of foo

      Re: Did it fall or was it pushed?

      Surely the real question is:

      How does it feel?

  19. Rich 2

    And squirrels!

    ...though in true NASA fashion, they try and ignore that bit...

    http://www.zdnet.com/was-a-squirrel-discovered-on-mars-7000016191/

  20. Goobertee
    Boffin

    Can't get no satisfaction, etc.

    Kids these days. No reference to Tumbling Tumbleweeds at all.

  21. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Alien

    I knew it all along!

    Keith Richards is an alien.

  22. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
    Coat

    I'm disappointed by the limited number fo puns in this article.

    But then, you can't always get what you want.

  23. WereWoof
    Coat

    Does it have Moss on IT?

  24. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Alert

    This is why Martians have not visited Earth.

    They're too lazy. Obviously, this was their sole attempt at making a stone circle sun calendar like Stonehenge, and they just gave up. Of course, it could be they just developed TV and sitcoms a lot earlier and us, hence why their civil action has disappeared.....

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poppa?

    You left us alone..........(or is that a loan?)

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