NASA explains the mysterious 'portal' it's Mars rover photographed

A photograph snapped by the Mars Curiosity rover has caused waves of line speculation as it contains an alien-looking 'door'.

1 minute & 24 seconds read time

The Mars Curiosity rover snapped an image of a rock formation on the surface of the Red Planet, and the image has picked up quite a lot of traction online.

NASA explains the mysterious 'portal' it's Mars rover photographed 700

The image was posted to the NASA subreddit, where it gained many upvotes, with many people speculating what the "door" was and how it formed. Looking at the image, there are many shadows cast by the rock, which has lent to the theory of the alien "door" being formed, which was quickly shut down by NASA officials.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) spoke to Snopes and said that the rock formation gives the appearance of a "portal" or a "door" due to it being a "very, very, very zoomed in shot of a tiny crevice in a rock." Notably, NASA JPL said to the publication that the "door" is only 11 by 17 inches, and to understand its true size, you can look at the below full-sized image.

NASA explains the mysterious 'portal' it's Mars rover photographed 02

Another factor as to why humans see a "door" or a "portal" is due to the illusion known as "pareidolia", which is the visual tendency to impose shapes or faces out of randomness.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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