Back in 1976, when the Viking 1 Orbiter spacecraft was orbitting and imaging Mars it took an image of a feature in a region called Cydonia Planitia that certain people have taken to be an artificial "face" on Mars:
Yep, these are the butt cheeks on Mars! They are
north of a region called Chronium Planum. As you can see Mars almost
it's butt kicked by an impact. My theory for this feature is that it is
an atmosphere generator (like in that movie, "Total Recall") and that
ancient Martians activated it by depositing large quantities of martian
sauerkraut into the Face's mouth. Thus activated, the butt could
for Mars' once-thicker atmosphere, and maybe even some of its flow
This work resulted in a poster
at a scientific conference at UAF on 1April2003.
Well, actually the "face" on Mars turns out to be just topography. Here is a Mars Global Surveyor image taken specifically to put the face to rest. The
image shows the face for what it really is: an odd, craggy mesa standing above very flat terrain; interesting, geologically, but still just a mesa. Unfortunately, one side effect of this effort has been to show, once again, that mere facts can't hinder true believers; the internet is still full of "face on Mars" fanatics.
"Gee, it doesn't look like a face to me . . . (cartoon by Duane Hilton)