A weird shape spotted on the surface of Mars may look like an agave plant, a starfish, fossilized coral or even an infant Demogorgon, but experts say there’s a perfectly natural explanation for the object that’s been dubbed a “Martian Flower.”
The tiny multi-branched shape was captured in images from the ChemCam and Mars Hand Lens Imager on NASA’s Curiosity rover, which has been operating for nearly 10 years in Gale Crater on Mars.
It’s the latest in a succession of weird bits of stuff that have turned up amid the thousands of pictures sent back to Earth by robotic Red Planet probes. Other examples include a skull-shaped rock, an alien footprint (actually, a wheelprint), the Mermaid on Mars, the Mars rat, Martian macaroni (a.k.a. rover rotini) Curiosity’s plastic shred, Phoenix’s sprung spring and Opportunity’s bunny ears.