Last month, the Mars rover Opportunity snapped a puzzling photo of a fist-sized stone that was not present in the same spot only days earlier. Naming the curiosity Pinnacle Island, NASA claims this rock was either thrown here from a far off impact, or picked up and dropped here by the rover, unbeknownst to scientists. Fortunately for us, self-described astrobiologist Rhawn Joseph is here to dispel these ridiculous theories.
Plain and simple, says Joseph: Pinnacle Island is life. More specifically, Joseph feels that what the NASA “experts” are calling a rock is actually a “mushroom-like fungus, a composite organism consisting of colonies of lichen and cyanobacteria, and which on Earth is known as Apothecium.” Still willing to go through the pesky formalities of scientific certification, Joseph has filed a petition in U.S. District Court for a writ of mandamus to compel NASA to conduct further investigations “on what is a putative biological organism which was identified (and thus discovered) by Petitioner.”
An apothecium, the fungal structure that Joseph claims the Martian “life form” is taking. (George Shepherd)
The petition continues its unforgiving tone when it asserts that “(a)ny intelligent adult, adolescent, child, chimpanzee, monkey, dog, or rodent with even a modicum of curiosity, would approach, investigate and closely examine a bowl-shaped structure which appears just a few feet in front of them when 12 days earlier they hadn’t noticed it. But not NASA and its rover team who have refused to take even a single close-up photo.” Though I remain on the fence, my dog and pet gerbil (both very curious) have announced that they are officially sold on this theory.
Pinnacle Fungus. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.)
In light of this news, what’s the one theory you’ve always wanted to claim as inarguable fact, but never had the courage to do so until you saw this one? Check out Discovery’s 10 Weirdest Mars Illusions and Pareidolia for inspiration and tell us what you come up with below!
PS: I have a pretty compelling theory that “Rhawn” is supposed to be spelled “Ron”.