The internet is abuzz with what some claim is photographic evidence of life on Mars.
The photograph in question was taken in 2004 by the Mars explorer Spirit and appears to show a bigfoot like figure on the desolate surface of the red planet.
Spirit, sent to Mars to capture images from the surface of the planet, is one half of a $820m (£410m) mission, along with its twin explorer, Opportunity.
It landed on Mars in January 2004 for a three month mission to search Gusev Crater, a rock strewn stretch of soil that scientists believe could be the bed of an ancient lake. If Mars once had surface water, it had the potential to support life.
There are many tongue in cheek explanations for the figure, ranging from Bigfoot, to the virgin Mary to statue of the little Mermaid and has led some on the message boards to conclude that the Martians left mars to settle in Denmark. The Statue of the little mermaid is in Copenhagen.
These are clearly meant to be taken tongue in cheek ( i think ) . However Jon Eric Beckjord has taken the picture far more seriously and talked about out of body experiences where a living individuals spirit leaves the body and decides to take a journey. In this case to Mars as a possible explanation, He also mentions Astro Cryptozoology where unknown animals (bigfoot) or even known animals appear and do things on other planets.
What then is my opinion. Is it a real Humonoid Figure or a statue that was left by some ancient Martian civilisation? or has the Patterson Bigfoot suddenly sprouted wings and discovered interstellar flight and decided to take a trip to Mars?
The truth of the matter is that there are thousands of different shaped rocks on the martian surface, each one creating its own light/shadow combinations, so it is just a matter of probability that a shadow/light combination appears that has the appearance of something that is familiar to us. Namely a human figure.
It would be interesting to see whether NASA has since re photographed the area in the hope of solving the mystery once and for all.