For centuries, humans have been entranced by the otherworldliness of Mars. Our planetary neighbor has influenced so many groundbreaking works of science fiction, such as Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter series, H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, Dwayne Johnson's Doom, and Lycia Naff's Total Recall.
Guest starring some Austrian dude.
And ever since NASA started chucking spacecraft into Martian orbit, pareidolia-crazed spectators have been poring over each and every shot of the red planet, praying to see something exciting (besides the unlikely majesty of a frail species conquering the vast and unforgiving cosmic void in pursuit of knowledge of our infinitely fascinating universe). So without further ado, here's some of the most dumbass shit people have spotted on Mars. (Spoiler alert: They're all rocks!)
#5. An Ugly Lizard
Earlier this year, the rover Curiosity snapped this picture of a deformed lizard basking in the delightful -65 degree Fahrenheit sunshine. Some Internet commenters have speculated that NASA is unleashing a swarm of cryogenically frozen critters on Mars to conquer the planet at a glacial pace. But come on, that's bullpuckey. Everybody knows that Mars is a reptiloid nesting ground.
#4. An Adorable Rodent
And this past May, Curiosity spotted Space Iguana's drinking buddy, the Galactic Guinea Pig. Who are these two creatures? Are they the whole of sentient beings on Mars? Are they entwined in a millennia-old blood feud that neither remembers the origin of? Just as Arrakis was 100 percent desert and Hoth was all tundra, is Mars' particular biome "pet store"? Is China shooting shitty taxidermy into space for reasons unknown? The universe does not cough up such answers easily.
#3. A Robotic Arm
John Connor's corpse is buried somewhere nearby.
Finally, something plausible! If the talkies have taught us anything, it's that space is wall-to-wall with artificial life forms bitching among themselves in prim English accents. This metallic limb is proof positive that there are robots on Mars. That, or it's the door handle that allows you to hop in and drive the entire planet.
#2. A Severed Finger
Sleuthing Internet denizens have excitedly spotted this strange tidbit hiding in a picture taken by Curiosity: a pleasingly manicured finger. Some are speculating that this digit belonged to an ancient race of rock lords (Homo petrus). Even fewer are theorizing that Mars is actually a massive jar of tainted peanut butter. Who could be the mastermind behind all of these strange sightings? The answer may surprise you (but it actually won't if you own a walk-in closet full of tinfoil sombreros) ...
Yup, several years ago, Curiosity's rover sibling Spirit captured a rare paparazzi shot of sasquatch lounging leisurely in the inhospitable Martian deathscape. Some observers have noted that the reclusive man-ape of the Pacific Northwest appears to be wearing a fashionable green camisole. This goes to show that the shy behemoth has the capacity to travel off-world when he requires extra privacy. And for those of you discouraged by NASA's insistence that Bigfoot here is only a few inches tall, all this proves is that he owns a shrink ray. How do you think he always manages to elude hikers?
Ultimately, the most thrilling spectacle on Mars is neither these sights nor Olympus Mons, the largest mountain in the solar system. It's the crude space penis Curiosity inadvertently doodled on the planet's surface, as there's nothing quite like seeing billions of dollars of cutting-edge science morph into an interplanetary dick joke.
This is why science exists in the first place.