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.
Another year, another tonne of TV announcements at CES 2017 - but what were the best screens out there in Vegas? I found out and wrote a feature for BBC's Science Focus Magazine!
Everybody hates Blue Monday - the gloomiest day of the year according to research. Well, let's cheer things up with the chance to win a Monster Superstar Hotshot: one of the best bluetooth speakers I've ever tested. To enter, just subscribe to New Rising Media's mailing list.
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Meet Olly - a CES Innovation Award-Winning robot by Emotech which they claim has both “feelings,” and a “personality.” As someone who was equally amazed and terrified when watching Her, I’m going to give this device the benefit of the doubt.
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I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.