World of the Bizarre
'Nuclear explosion' photographed on Mars
By T.K. Randall
March 14, 2015 · 63 comments
The anomalous plume is located over the Valles Marineris Canyon. Image Credit: ISRO
An image of a 'mushroom cloud' on the Red Planet has caught the attention of conspiracy theorists.
Captured by India's orbiting space probe, the controversial image has been hailed by some as evidence that something unusual is still happening down on the surface of Mars.
Showing what looks like a large mushroom cloud rising up above the famous Valles Marineris Canyon, the photograph does look relatively convincing given that the shape is sufficiently distinct and that it even appears to be casting a shadow.
While some have speculated that the mushroom cloud could have been caused by an asteroid impact or a rockfall within the canyon, others have brought up references to the work of author Dr John Brandenburg by suggesting that it could even be a nuclear explosion.
Astrobiologist Dr Jonathan Horner of the University of Southern Queensland however has offered a rather more feasible explanation to what the mysterious mushroom cloud could be.
"It's simply like one of those magic eye picture tricks - the eye getting deceived and trying to see something where there isnít really anything," he said.
It appears that the "nuclear explosion" is in fact unlikely to be anything more than an optical illusion.
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