Rover Snaps Picture of Strange Martian Formation; What Curiosity Captured Is Being Called Otherworldly 'Architecture'

The doorway to speculation is wide open after NASA’s Curiosity rover snapped an image that has captured wide interest on social media.

The image appears to look like a doorway that could lead to some unexplained underground land.

Many who have commented on the picture have offered their version of theories for what it represents.

But scientists are offering a far more prosaic explanation.

“It’s just the space between two fractures in a rock,” Ashwin Vasavada, a project scientist in the Mars Science Laboratory, said, according to Gizmodo.

“We’ve been traversing through an area that has formed from ancient sand dunes.”

Over time, the sand dunes melded while pressure caused fractures in the terrain.

These sand dunes were cemented together over time, creating the sandstone outcrops Curiosity is passing by.

“The fractures we see in this area are generally vertical,” Vasavada said.

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“I think what we have here [is] either two vertical fractures, where the middle piece has been removed, or one vertical fracture, and the blocks have moved apart a little bit.”

NASA said the image was taken on May 7.

“The mound, on Mount Sharp, has a number of naturally occurring open fractures – including one roughly 12 inches (30 centimeters) tall and 16 inches (40 centimeters) wide, similar in size to a dog door,”  according to a statement from NASA.

“These kinds of open fractures are common in bedrock, both on Earth and on Mars.”

NASA’s Curiosity team posted more on Twitter.

Curiosity has been driving around Mars since 2012, which amounts to about 3,500 days on the Martian surface, according to NASA. In that time, the rover has sent back over 900,000 images.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.