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Remember the door on Mars? The real story behind NASA's perplexing viral photo

User's posted image

Image credit: mars.nasa.gov

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Curiosity, NASA's Mars rover, snapped a strange image that appeared to be a little door at first glance.

The image, which was tweeted by the rover's official account on May 19, sparked widespread speculation that the "door" was a mystery opening on the surface of Mars.

However, NASA released a series of follow-up photographs that reveal the "door" is simply a rock crack.

NASA reported in a statement that on May 7, the rover was examining a mound of rock known as "East Cliffs."

"The mound on Mount Sharp includes a number of naturally occurring open fractures," it claimed, "including one that is around 12 inches (30 centimetres) tall and 16 inches (40 centimetres) broad, similar in size to a dog door." "Both on Earth and on Mars, open cracks of this type are frequent in bedrock."

People who looked at the image saw a door, according to NASA. "It's a naturally occurring geological feature!" Because your mind is trying to make sense of the unknown, it may just *look* like a door. (This is known as "pareidolia"), it explained.

Curiosity, NASA's rover, is now studying a section of Mount Sharp. "(The region) may include evidence of a big transition in Mars' early history from wetter to drier circumstances," it stated.

The goal of NASA's Mars Exploration Mission is to learn more about Mars' origin and early evolution as a planet, as well as the geological and climate processes that have altered it over time and its potential to support life.

See the proof image on NASA's website

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