The Internet is buzzing about a NASA-captured image of what looks like a ghost woman on Mars.
First people thought they were seeing a massive crab on Mars, and now it’s a ghostly woman. Thanks to TIME’s science writer Jeffrey Kluger, we know the sights are actually due to pareidolia; a phenomenon that makes us see all sorts of things that aren’t really there. It’s when people see familiar images in unfamiliar patterns.
In a story explaining the large crab on Mars image, Kluger writes:
So no, there’s not a ghost woman on Mars, and there’s no giant crab, but it’s probably not the last time there’s a “sighting” of something unusual on the planet.
MORE: Why Your Brain Thinks This Picture Shows a Giant, Martian Crab Monster
More Must-Reads From TIME
- The Inside Story of Princeton's Cinderella Run at March Madness
- The Case for Betting on Succession's Tom Wambsgans
- For Both Donald Trump and Alvin Bragg, the Central Park Jogger Case Was a Turning Point
- If Donald Trump Is Indicted, Here's What Would Happen Next in the Process
- Alison Roman Won't Sugarcoat It
- Why Not All Observant Muslims Fast During Ramadan
- It's Time to Say a Loving Goodbye to John Wick
- Who Should Be on the 2023 TIME100? Vote Now
- Column: Ozempic Exposed the Cracks in the Body Positivity Movement