Face on Mars


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Face on Mars

A popular term for Plate #035A72, a specific image taken in 1976 by NASA's Viking 1 spacecraft of a geographic region of Mars that scientists had called Cydonia. According to some, 35A72 bore a striking resemblance to a human face, complete with headdress, which triggered speculation that it was a monument built by an ancient civilisation.

Subsequent photographs of Plate #035A72, taken from different angles and with better quality instruments, revealed the “face” of the original image to be the effect of pareidolia (a psychological phenomenon in which random stimuli are perceived as being significant).