NASA recently photographed some strange sand dunes on Mars, with patterns that looked like a message in Morse code. Obviously, conspiracy theorists nearly fell out of their chairs at the vague possibility of Martian existence!
For background, the shape and size of these dunes are influenced by the lay of the land and weather conditions such as wind direction. But astronomers at the University of Arizona spotted something odd on February 6th 2016, at 15:16 local Mars time…
Using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, they captured this dune form – which was so complex they don’t even know wind direction.
In fact, thanks to a circular depression in the land (probably where an asteroid hit the planet before) influences the local winds and the amount of sand usable for dune formation, resulting in these distinct dots and dashes.
Every dash is formed by two directional winds hitting each other at a 90 degree angle and pushing forward. The dots appear when these winds are interrupted in some way. Not much is known about this process, which is why they plan to image and study this area further.
So now for the obvious question… What the hell does it say? If this is, indeed, aliens contacting Earth, what are they trying to communicate? Well, it doesn’t make that much sense to us English-speaking folks, probably because it would be in a Martian language…
“NEE NED ZB 6TNN DEIBEDH SIEFI EBEEE SSIEI ESEE SEEE !!”
So maybe, just maybe, it’s not aliens. But who would’ve thought something as menial as the weather could cause such intrigue on another planet! Here are some of the funnier ideas for what it could have meant…
1. Matt Damon was never ‘actually rescued’ from Mars, got drunk instead and lost his ability to write eloquently.
2. The Doomguy left a polite request: “Dear Earth, work’s done. Bring evac and beer.”
3. The fully archived text of Nigel Farage’s speeches.
4. “From Mars, men are not.”
5. One particularly religious individual speculated it was the fingerprint of God.
The fake news problem goes all the way to the top (unsurprisingly), as Facebook casually admitted in a whitepaper that their social network is fertile ground for “subtle and insidious forms of misuse, including attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people.”
Remember the classic Tomb Raider? Well, a group of hackers are working to help you relive your childhood with a version of the original that works in your browser!
I have bought and used a DJI Osmo for over a year as my main camera. How does it stack up? Find out in my full review...
The spectrum of titles out there lean somewhat towards the bad. For every good game, you get ten terrible ones – from Aquaman to Silver Surfer. Here are ten of the best...
One researcher has trained a neural network to create its own pick-up lines, uploading thousands of existing lines for it to identify patterns and generate new ones. Simple question – do these chat-up lines hold up?
Does everything really need stories? According to Facebook, yes they do and Redditors have been busy mocking them by photoshopping 20 more ridiculous places that will now have stories.
It’s the question we always ask ourselves, and one this blog’s sole purpose is to answer - what does the future look like? Well, Kaspersky has chosen to visualise our future with an interactive map called Earth 2050.
Whoever said you can’t manufacture love clearly doesn’t have experience in robotics… Meet 31-year-old artificial intelligence expert Zheng Jiajia, who built and married his own female humanoid.
Remember that Sega Mega Drive/Genesis you have in the attic? Time to go find it, as developer WaterMelon Corp is releasing a new game for the classic console. Named Paprium , this classic beat-em-up has been in the works for four years.
Uber has released a ‘Lost & Found Index,’ detailing some of the possessions people have reported lost. From the usual items like a missing cell phone to the weirder items like a “Meat packet” and some Valium, it’s clear the human race is still as gloriously strange as ever!
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.