(Originally posted September, 09)
A recently released picture of the Martian surface has ignited some controversy in the most widely circulated newspaper in the UK (“Has Jesus Christ Been Spotted On Mars?”). The question mark in the headline apparently means they’re not quite sure if there was an alteration of the Martian surface in order to make it sort of kind of look like Jesus:
Some possible explanations:
- After his resurrection, Jesus flew around the solar system to preach at organisms on other worlds. He couldn’t find any, so he decided to make a self-portrait on the surface of the planet to which humans would probably first travel. It was too much work, and Jesus gave up after a few years.
- Jesus was really a giant Martian buried underground, and when he punched his way out of his burial-place (like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill 2), he left behind an outline of a vaguely human-ish figure on the Martian surface.
- Intelligent life on Mars which has since gone extinct heard about Jesus on Earth by being very quiet and listening in on the Middle East region 2,000 years ago and then just decided to alter the surface of their planet to make it look kind of like a human, just for the fuck of it.
- Mars is a big planet on which erosion happens. There are no oceans on the surface, so that leaves a lot of possibilities for geological features which might kind of sort of look like a human. Since we’ve evolved in a way to recognize faces, it is not surprising that we would sometimes mistakenly perceive a face. There’s even a name for this phenomenon.
I wonder which is the most likely.
If it really were a face, then it should look that way from all angles. For example, here is a rotated picture of a human face which is still easy to identify as a human face:
Unless you’re already looking for Jesus here, you won’t see it. You have to want to see it. That should have given pause to whichever Daily Telegraph editor OK’d this story. On the other hand, ad revenue ad revenue ad revenue ad revenue ad revenue ad revenue…
Go to Bunting’s blog.