'Bear face' discovered on the surface of Mars in new satellite photo

Forget the man in the moon, it’s all about the bear on Mars now.

On Wednesday, NASA researchers shared a satellite image of what looks like a bear’s face on the surface of Mars. The photo was taken on Dec. 12, 2022 by the agency’s High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which is attached to NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

“This feature looks a bit like a bear’s face. What is it really?” the HiRISE Twitter account asked.

Though researchers couldn’t say for certain what the bear face was made of, the University of Arizona team tasked with operating the camera said the space-gazing bear is likely made from craters and a circular fracture.

The team wrote that the bear’s nose is a “hill with a V-shaped collapse structure” and its eyes are made from two craters. The bear’s head is “a circular fracture pattern” that may have been formed by a lava or mud deposit settling over a buried impact crater.

On social media, there was debate as to what the grouping of craters really looked like. Some said the image resembled an Angry Bird or the once-popular Doge meme of a Shiba Inu.

Humans are known to see faces in inanimate objects like electrical sockets or car lights as a result of a phenomenon called facial pareidolia. Due to the brain’s priming, humans often attempt to find meaning or a pattern where there is none. Even seeing the face of the ‘man in the moon‘ is caused by facial pareidolia.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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