Is the famous image of a face on Mars a trick of the light or an artificial structure reprinting a face?

Face on Mars

  • Unfortunately not. When you look at even the original pictures in 3D it's clearly a rock.
    – user11146
    Jan 20, 2013 at 18:28

2 Answers 2


No, it's just a myth. That picture had a low resolution and a particular light angle made it look like a face, but see this:

enter image description here

Here's what it looks like from the oblique: 'face' on mars

It's clearly not a face.

What the picture actually shows is the Martian equivalent of a butte or mesa -- landforms common around the American West. "It reminds me most of Middle Butte in the Snake River Plain of Idaho," says Garvin. "That's a lava dome that takes the form of an isolated mesa about the same height as the Face on Mars."


  • 11
    No face, but look at those roads!
    – Paul
    Mar 25, 2011 at 8:32

The Face on Mars and Pareidolia

We have a habit of finding patterns were there are none (Pareidolia):

enter image description here

... with our knowledge of pareidolia, and the high resolution images provided by NASA, do you think the Face is still a face, or an optical illusion enhanced by the fact that we were originally looking at very low resolution images?

The Badlands Guardian in Alberta, Canada, discovered through "Google Earth".

enter image description here

  • 5
    I didn't see a face in that lamp...
    – fredley
    Mar 24, 2011 at 18:00
  • @fredley: in case you're being serious, the lamp isn't a face. Pareidolia isn't just for faces, it's about "seeing" anything in a picture other than what the picture is showing. The lamp is slightly more rude example - clue: legs. Mar 24, 2011 at 21:51
  • 8
    Actually, it's not a lamp. ebaumsworld.com/pictures/view/1042108
    – anthony137
    Mar 24, 2011 at 23:10
  • I see an artificial structure in the "Badlands Guardian"
    – Nick T
    Mar 24, 2011 at 23:47
  • @Nick T: the earphone (or oil well and track, to be more precise) were there before the aerial photograph
    – Henry
    Mar 25, 2011 at 6:27

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