5 Mind-Blowing Things Found Hiding in Our Own Solar System

#2. Mars' Gigantic Photo Op

NASA via Science Blogs

Astronomers from the European Space Agency recently glimpsed a pair of 30-mile-wide pitted craters on Mars that they believe were created by a combination of impacts from space and subterranean explosions. Why do we bring this up? Because we're interested in the cause of these subterranean events? Because we're fascinated by geological shifts? Because we're serious, scientifically minded people who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth? No. Of course not. We bring this up because those craters totally look like a pair of deranged eyes:

ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum) via ESA

The Martian landscape is not the vast monochromatic wasteland you think you know. In fact, it is host to many otherworldly sand dunes, craters, and rock formations that would feel right at home in one of Dali's surrealist dreamscapes. A recent montage of landscapes taken by the HiRISE high-resolution imaging system aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has shown us everything from a buried pencil to mitosis to what looks like nipples (if you're lonely and myopic enough).

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona via Discovery
"Sigh." *unzip*

We've also spotted gigantic dust devils racing across Mars' surface, unfettered by Earth levels of gravity and therefore able to grow much larger than anything we get down here.

This is why there are no trailer parks on Mars.

Hell, we've even found what appears to be a blasted-out Stormtrooper helmet on the red planet (either it's a prime example of pareidolia or the new Star Wars movies have waaay too much in the PR budget).

Well, they did say it was a long time ago.

#1. Venus' Immortal Vortex

ESA/MPS/DLR/IDA via Phys.org

Just looking at the evidence, one could be forgiven for assuming that the planet Venus is the basis for the Christian vision of hell. The second closest planet to the sun is cloaked in noxious gas and boasts surface temperatures hot enough to melt lead, not to mention the 90 atmospheres' worth of pressure that would instantly turn that squishy meat-mech you call a body into a thin layer of human jam.

Shorts weather, basically.

Then there's the weather: You've heard of the acid rain, surely, but did you know that Venus sports a perpetually spinning vortex approximately the size of Europe that is virtually indestructible?

Thanks to data collected by the European Space Agency's Venus Express satellite, we now know that this gigantic cyclone, called the south polar vortex, is constantly breaking apart and reforming like a nightmarish wind-based Jefferson Airplane.

ESA/VIRTIS/INAF-IASF/Obs. de Paris-LESIA via Space.com
"Feeeeeeeeeed your heeeeAHHHHHHHH OH MY GOD WE'RE BURNING UP!"

The cycle appears to be unbreakable, meaning it could very well be an eternal storm. And we reiterate: It's the size of friggin' Europe. The vortex is so huge that the storm actually has two eyes. You know, the better to see you with.

APOD/NASA via Daily Galaxy
And it's shaped like a Mobius strip so you're always facing directly at it.

And if a ceaselessly raging immortal continental storm that stares into your very soul doesn't unnerve you, well ... we guess you're leaving disappointed, because we don't have anything that beats it. But before you leave, could you come over and kill this spider for us? We've had it trapped under a Dixie cup in the kitchen for like a week.

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Related Reading: What's also crazy are the awesome planets we used to think existed in our solar system, like Vulcan. Also, Saturn has a moon shaped like a walnut. And by the way, rogue black holes exist.

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