An image of what appears to be a floating spoon on the surface of Mars was captured by NASA's Curiosity Rover, causing many people on the internet to speculate what the object might actually be.
The photograph was taken by Curiosity during its routine survey of the red planet's surface on Aug. 30. It shows a delicate geological formation that resembles a spoon made of rock that is floating in mid-air. The strange object is even shown to cast a narrow shadow on the red ground below it.
According to reports, the so-called floating spoon was first spotted by a user on the message board named Unmanned Spaceflight which is moderated by the Planetary Society.
While the actual geological feature is yet to be determined, NASA said that the image of the floating spoon could simply be case of pareidolia.
Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon wherein a person perceives a stimulus, which could be a sound or an image, as something else. This occurs when the mind identifies a familiar pattern where there is none.
Given the seemingly-alien geological feature of Mar's surface, it is not uncommon to discover such as an oddly-shaped rock formation. What some people consider strange, however, is that the rock spoon looks like it is barely tethered to the Martian ground.
Earlier in August, a website for alien enthusiasts reported that an "alien critter" was found on another image taken by the Curiosity Rover on Mars.
The alleged tiny creature can be spotted by zooming in on the photograph where an object with a pumpkin-shaped head and spindly arms could be view hiding behind a rock.
The author of the article, Scott C. Waring, pointed out that there is much proof of alien life in the NASA photograph that it amazes him that members of the public have not conducted such research before.
Other reports of strange sightings on images from Mars include a so-called crab seen crawling up the face of a cliff on the red planet as well as a levitating rock.
Ashwin Vasavada, a researcher working on NASA's Mars rover program, insists that the space agency is not hiding evidence of alien life from the public.
"There is no group that would be happier to see such a thing than the 500 scientists around the world who work on this Curiosity rover," Vasavada said during a recent interview.
"So far we haven't seen anything that is so obvious that it would be similar to what these claims are."