Another day, another Mars conspiracy theory. A photo from the Martian surface went viral this week because it appeared to show an alien thigh bone.
But don’t get too excited. It isn’t real.
Well, it’s real. This is an actual photo taken by the Curiosity Rover. But an alien thigh bone? No, it’s just a rock.
The photo generated so much speculation that NASA even released a statement to debunk the rumor. According to NASA, the “thigh bone” is really just a bone shaped rock that was “likely sculpted by erosion, either wind or water.” The organization goes on to say that Mars probably never had enough oxygen to support life.
“No bones about it! Seen by Mars rover Curiosity using its MastCam, this Mars rock may look like a femur thigh bone. Mission science team members think its shape is likely sculpted by erosion, either wind or water. If life ever existed on Mars, scientists expect that it would be small simple life forms called microbes. Mars likely never had enough oxygen in its atmosphere and elsewhere to support more complex organisms. Thus, large fossils are not likely.”
Emily Lakdawalla, the Senior Editor at the Planetary Society, also dismissed the rumor saying that the rock was much too small to be a thigh bone. Lakdawalla told Gawker that the rock was only “roughly 5 centimeters, or 2 inches long.”
This isn’t the first strange sighting from the Martian surface. Earlier this year, a strange light was spotted above the Martian surface. Of course, Mars doesn’t have a monopoly on conspiracy theories. Last week a strange human-shaped shadow was spotted on the moon.