April 10th, 2012
We've been seeking them out for years, decades, eons perhaps: life forms on Mars. Martians if you will. And it seems like - in the past week - scientists have come closer to this dream than ever before, after a... wait for it... ELEPHANT made its celestial appearance on the red planet.
Okay, okay, it's actually more like a lava imprint of an elephant face, but still, the side profile of a wrinkly trunk, small eye, fly-away ear and smiley mouth is definitely something to write home about.
Huffington Post reports that "NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped a photo of a lava flood on Mars' Elysium Planitia region that looks distinctly like an elephant's face." The photo was released last Wednesday by NASA.
Similar to the case of the much more famous Man in the Moon, this photo has been labeled a classic instance of "pareidolia," a phenomenon where people perceive familiar scenes in otherwise unremarkable images.
A blog post on Krugerpark.com has summarized the aptness of this discovery poignantly, saying : "Maybe the giant image of an elephant, looking down on us... is just the thing we need to remind us of how precious the elephants on earth are."
They added that 2011 was one of the worst recorded years for the world's elephant population as the demand for ivory is escalating. In Kenya alone 278 of these gentle gargantuan were killed for their tusks.
- Elephant whisperer dies
- Legendary Eastern Cape elephant killed by brother
- Duke, Kruger's big tusker dies
- Harry, the pygmy hippo makes headlines