This story is part of Welcome to Mars, our series exploring the red planet.

NASA, cats and Mars. Three of my favourite issues have come collectively in a single amusing picture beamed again from the purple planet. So it is with nice delight I introduce you to what I am calling “cat loaf rock” on Mars. 

Cat lovers know one of many cutest feline chill-out positions is the loaf. That is when a cat has its legs tucked beneath it, tail hidden away, like a loaf of bread with a head. NASA’s Perseverance rover snapped the rock in Jezero Crater on Sept. 8 utilizing certainly one of its mast-mounted cameras. NASA places the rover’s uncooked photographs on-line for perusal and this one was chosen by Mars followers as a picture of the week worthy of particular word. 

The angle of the photograph mixed with the way in which the shadows fall spotlight two pointy ear-like options on the rock’s “head” and a protracted, loaf-like “physique.” At one other angle or one other time of day, this may need regarded like several outdated lumpy Martian rock, however as a substitute it seems like a chubby-cheeked Persian cat having a quiet second. 

If this have been an actual cat, then we would have a proof for a curious thread-like piece of debris that lately acquired caught within the rover’s rock-sampling gear. NASA investigated the particles and cleared the rover to proceed touring in August.

The phenomenon of pareidolia (the human tendency to identify acquainted objects in random shapes) runs rampant with regards to Martian rocks. Perseverance landed in early 2021, however has already noticed its share of goofy formations, from a butt crack to a reclining “alien figure.”

At the very least the cat rock could have one thing to snack on. The Curiosity rover as soon as snapped a fish-shaped rock. These rocks are simply enjoyable shapes for our imaginations to play with. We’ve but to seek out proof of life, historic or present, on the purple planet. So any cats on Mars must journey to get there. Understanding cats, they’d a lot slightly hang around on Earth.

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