Parrrrrrrre... iiiiiiiiii... doooooooliaaaaa!

Parrrrrrrre... iiiiiiiiii... doooooooliaaaaa!

Parrrrrrrre... iiiiiiiiii... doooooooliaaaaa!

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
June 26 2009 7:30 AM

Parrrrrrrre... iiiiiiiiii... doooooooliaaaaa!

Astronomers -- even skeptical ones with a sense of humor and an eye for pareidolia -- can miss things. In this case, I can hardly believe I somehow dropped the pigskin on this one.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Back in April, I posted an incredibly beautiful picture of sand dunes on Mars taken by the HIRISE camera. Here's the picture:


Wow. I mean really, wow!

The thing is, I was so drawn to the dunes that I missed something that, in retrospect, makes moi a bit of a fool. Look to the middle right; see that raised dome? Yeah? Well, look a little closer:

Miss Piggy on Mars!


See it? Maybe this comparison will help vous.

It's so obvious! And what makes it worse is as soon as I saw it I knew why it was there... all you have to do is look at this image of the Martian surface taken by the Viking 1 orbiter back in the 1970s...

Miss Piggy on Mars comparison
Mars Kermit

It's all clear to me now. It's not easy being red.

Sigh. Pareidolia is certainly subjective, of course, but as a wise swine once said, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."

Tip o' the hand puppet to BABloggee Ken Arthur for notifying me of my oversight. Tip o' the heat shield as well to the Tampa Bay Skeptics for the Kermit pic.