Let's Just Call This A Sphinx On Mars

"Take a picture of tree bark or beach sand with your cell phone camera, blow it up in Photoshop and see if you can find hidden pyramids, faces or monuments." -- NASA spokesman

Unless you've been hiding in the sands or dunes or rock piles on Mars, you've undoubtedly seen many examples of curious objects photographed on  the Red Planet.

As remote controlled rovers continue to transmit images back to Earth, many Earth-bound computer users with a lot of time on their hands search through NASA images, trying to find irrefutable proof of an ancient or, even, current civilization living on our celestial neighbor.

One target of Mars observers is something that looks like a Sphinx.

The left side of the above composite image shows a color enhanced outcropping on the Red Planet, taken by the Mars Curiosity rover in 2014 in a dry lake bed of an area known as Gale Crater. The right side of the image is, of course, the more familiar Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt.

In the following NASA raw image, the supposed Martian Sphinx is in the background followed by a close-up of the "artifact":


Here on Earth, the famous Sphinx -- resembling the head of a human and body of a lion -- measures over 240 feet long and sits on the Giza plateau, in the shadow of the great pyramids, outside of Cairo.

Its alleged Martian cousin isn't as big, but large enough to excite at least one Mars anomaly researcher.

"I estimate it to be at least 100 feet long, possibly 200," according to Joe White, who runs YouTube channel ArtAlienTV, which features numerous dubious videos of Mars. "I have been studying this area in detail for years now. When I looked at this particular NASA image, I was astounded at the large head detail. The door-like archway to the right of the possible Sphinx head also caught my eye," White indicates on his YouTube page.

"Of course, this may be an optical illusion, but the image is quite clear and the Sphinx-like structure can be seen in multiple images taken over the last few years as the Curiosity [rover] slowly motored around this fascinating landscape."

The following video, created by White, includes visual enhancements to the Sphinx in question. 

HuffPost reached out to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, where Mars images are collected, catalogued and made public.

"The rock that this commentator says looks like a Sphinx is in a part of the image that is not sharp," said JPL spokesman Guy Webster. "Tens of thousands of very sharp images have been returned by NASA's Mars rovers. With any image, there is, at some point, a limit to the resolution, and you can keep zooming in until it gets blurrier and maybe has JPEG compression artifacts."

Webster told The Huffington Post in an email that, "where it's getting blurry, people start to see faces and figures and critters. Take a sharp picture of tree bark or beach sand or concrete with your cell phone camera, blow it up in Photoshop until it gets blurry or pixelated, and see if you can find any hidden pyramids, faces or monuments."

The list of Martian alleged anomalies continues to grow and includes strange lights, domes, statues, carvings, ships, buildings, skulls, bones, animals, boxes and tools.

It brings up an interesting point.

The scientific term for this is pareidolia, where the human mind perceives something familiar in random patterns. According to Live Science, "To some observers, it looked like an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich. But to the Miami woman who put it up for sale on eBay, and to some people who viewed it, there was an image of the Virgin Mary seared on this seemingly run-of-the-mill snack."

Or, even, a Sphinx on Mars.

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