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University in U-turn over Mars 'insects' research

By T.K. Randall
December 1, 2019 · Comment icon 70 comments

One of Romoser's proposed Mars 'insects'. Image Credit: NASA / Dr. William Romoser
A press release concerning an Ohio University scientist's discovery of insects on Mars has been taken down.
The original paper, which contends that there are live insects crawling around on the Red Planet, comes courtesy of Dr. William Romoser - an entomologist who has reportedly spent several years closely studying photographs taken by NASA's Mars rovers.

"There has been and still is life on Mars," he said.

"There is apparent diversity among the Martian insect-like fauna which display many features similar to Terran insects that are interpreted as advanced groups - for example, the presence of wings, wing flexion, agile gliding/flight, and variously structured leg elements."

"Once a clear image of a given form was identified and described, it was useful in facilitating recognition of other less clear, but none-the-less valid, images of the same basic form."
Unsurprisingly, since appearing online Dr. Romoser's research has been subject to a hefty degree of skepticism with other scientists arguing that his images of 'insects' are little more than examples of pareidolia - the tendency for the human brain to see meaningful shapes in otherwise abstract patterns.

It appears that Ohio University agrees with them because the original press release has now disappeared from its website.

The exact reason for this remains unclear - perhaps the controversial nature of the research had drawn too much negative attention towards the university.

"The faculty member no longer wishes to engage with media regarding this research, so we have opted to remove the story from our website," an Ohio University spokesperson told Futurism.

Source: IB Times | Comments (70)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #61 Posted by Nnicolette 5 years ago
They didn't even have to. Are we sure this isnt an old riverbed we are looking at? I mean people did already announce that there were some around some time ago...
Comment icon #62 Posted by ocpaul20 5 years ago
I never said the spherules or blueberries were spores, I said they expelled the spores because they are (or at least some are) the fruiting bodies of fungi. The spores I claimed to see were on the ground in the picture I posted previously. These spores are much, much smalled than the fruiting bodies or spherules. It was Stereologist who mistook what I said for spores. The spores are the darker grains on the surface of the ground in the area of the hole in my previous posted picture. ============================ How can I show that blueberries are NOT blown about? You can show that they are blo... [More]
Comment icon #63 Posted by stereologist 5 years ago
I checked back and I did get it wrong. The problem is that the spherules do NOT show any internal structure. They are not fruiting bodies. There is nothing at all to show that the smaller dark grains are spores or that there is a relationship between the smaller grains and the spherules. The blueberries do congregate in low areas showing that their distribution which is  evenly distributed in the rock layers changes.  The idea that blueberries should be found in the lee of rocks is also wrong. Over time they should end up in lower areas which is what they do.  There is no internal structure... [More]
Comment icon #64 Posted by stereologist 5 years ago
These spherules are not organic. Not fruiting bodies or spores or anything once alive, but inorganic hematite. Nothing but inorganic materials.  
Comment icon #65 Posted by Hammerclaw 5 years ago
Stare at images of Martian ventifacts long enough and you'll imagine you see a lot of things.
Comment icon #66 Posted by ocpaul20 5 years ago
And... read enough NASA articles and you will continue to believe the scientific dogma. I am NOT saying ALL spherules are fungi fruiting bodies and the ones which NASA may have analysed may have been concretions. However, I reckon some are fungal fruiting bodies and I have presented evidence for this belief - including spherules on 'stalks' and tiny spores on the ground NOT blown by the wind. I have never heard of concretions being formed on 'stalks' have you? OK, see the thread I have posted which gives many examples of what I consider 'evidence' for fungi. Please explain what you see there, ... [More]
Comment icon #67 Posted by Hammerclaw 5 years ago
It's a possibility, but we won't know until we have instruments and/or boots on the ground to confirm it. I was referring more to the claims of artifacts of unknown origin, as interpreted by some. 
Comment icon #68 Posted by The Eternal Flame 5 years ago
Alot of srange stuff going on on mars i saw ghost worm once.
Comment icon #69 Posted by toast 5 years ago
Yeah, its prepared well to get probed. Revenge! Revenge!
Comment icon #70 Posted by stereologist 5 years ago
You've given no evidence for fungi on Mars. All you have done is told a story that has zero supporting evidence. You and you alone need to show evidence for your belief.  Using straw man arguments such as "I have never heard of concretions being formed on 'stalks' have you?" is all you seem to have. What you call stalks have already been explained in this thread.  If you are saying that NOT ALL spherules are fungi fruiting bodies then please show one that is. Until you do this remains what it started out as, your fictional tale.  Your claims of "tiny spores on the ground NOT blown by the wi... [More]

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