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Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:35 AM

What the Hell Is This Weird Shiny Object on Mars?

The Mars Curiosity Rover has been busy snapping photos (selfies too) of Mars and found something... strange. A small, shiny, metal-looking "protuberance" sticking out from the red planet. Is it some secret lever to open up a world where Martians exist? Or some random space junk? We don't know.

You can see it in the picture above and see it zoomed in on the bottom right hand corner. If you look carefully, you can even see the protuberance's shadow. Whatever it is, it looks a lot different from the red rock that it sits on. What in the hell?

People have suggested wild theories for the metal looking object but it's probably just some part of the rock that is less susceptible to erosion (compared to the rest of the surface). Or maybe it's a weird lighting trick that Curiosity is playing on us. Or a grave for a dying robot? Or who knows. The object, which is only half a centimeter tall, was found by the Curiosity Rover on January 30th, 2013. We might never know what it is.

<snip>

http://gizmodo.com/5982991/what-the-hell-is-this-weird-shiny-object-on-mars

59 replies, 5013 views

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Arrow 59 replies Author Time Post
Reply What the Hell Is This Weird Shiny Object on Mars? (Original post)
cali Feb 2013 OP
cbrer Feb 2013 #1
chuckstevens Feb 2013 #13
RudynJack Feb 2013 #47
gelsdorf Feb 2013 #2
nc4bo Feb 2013 #25
Matariki Feb 2013 #59
geckosfeet Feb 2013 #3
Art_from_Ark Feb 2013 #9
geckosfeet Feb 2013 #16
gourmet Feb 2013 #23
geckosfeet Feb 2013 #29
gadjitfreek Feb 2013 #4
Victor_c3 Feb 2013 #5
justiceischeap Feb 2013 #6
BainsBane Feb 2013 #7
TheManInTheMac Feb 2013 #8
Berlum Feb 2013 #10
Blue Gardener Feb 2013 #11
ChisolmTrailDem Feb 2013 #49
AsahinaKimi Feb 2013 #12
d_r Feb 2013 #14
malthaussen Feb 2013 #15
aandegoons Feb 2013 #17
jdadd Feb 2013 #18
MannyGoldstein Feb 2013 #19
VOX Feb 2013 #20
rateyes Feb 2013 #21
Junkdrawer Feb 2013 #22
Dash87 Feb 2013 #24
AllyCat Feb 2013 #26
theKed Feb 2013 #37
randome Feb 2013 #40
theKed Feb 2013 #42
Major Nikon Feb 2013 #27
Fuddnik Feb 2013 #28
randome Feb 2013 #30
Buzz Clik Feb 2013 #31
kestrel91316 Feb 2013 #32
Victor_c3 Feb 2013 #33
Lurker Dave Feb 2013 #34
Eddie Haskell Feb 2013 #35
underpants Feb 2013 #36
theKed Feb 2013 #38
LineReply .
Fawke Em Feb 2013 #39
undeterred Feb 2013 #41
JHB Feb 2013 #46
Bosonic Feb 2013 #43
hfojvt Feb 2013 #44
JHB Feb 2013 #45
randome Feb 2013 #54
many a good man Feb 2013 #48
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #50
Tom Ripley Feb 2013 #51
krispos42 Feb 2013 #52
tavernier Feb 2013 #53
randome Feb 2013 #55
Tree-Hugger Feb 2013 #56
ladjf Feb 2013 #57
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #58

Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:45 AM

1. Fascinating!

 

Has NASA lost any toys in this quadrant of the Solar System?

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Response to cbrer (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:27 AM

13. It's a rock.

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Response to chuckstevens (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:25 PM

47. Jesus Christ, Marie...

they're not rocks, they're minerals!

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 06:52 AM

2. I wonder, could it be the "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator" n/t

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Response to gelsdorf (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:22 AM

25. **snort**



And that's all folks.

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Response to gelsdorf (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:52 PM

59. !!! lol

btw, that's always my answer to hardware store dudes who ALWAYS ask "what's it for?" whenever I ask where something is.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:32 AM

3. Probably some debris from a previous mission.

Oh no - we have flotsam on Mars already.


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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:11 AM

9. Or it could be some sort of metallic ore

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:43 AM

16. There's gold in them there planets.

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Response to geckosfeet (Reply #3)


Response to gourmet (Reply #23)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:49 AM

29. Why? How many mars mission have there been?

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:44 AM

4. Nobody has a theory, wild or otherwise.

They might have guesses, flights of fancy or otherwise but they don't have theories. A theory is a scientific proposition that has masses of independently confirmed support behind it. While I am also pretty intrigued by this apparent piece of metal, it IS near a crater, which was caused by a meteor, which are composed largely of nickel and iron...and in a non-oxidizing atmosphere we should expect to find shiny meteor fragments within shouting distance of craters. No real mystery. Let's not perpetuate mis-use of the word "theory"...that way lies the Dover trials. Since we can't actually perform the tests we need to discover what this object might be, we may never have an actual "theory", only speculation like my explanation, above.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:45 AM

5. I'm sure that Richard Hoagland and his people are going to be having a field day with this

I like reading his stuff and it would be fascinating if any portion of it turned out to be actually true but, unfortunately, I think most of it is just plain off.

He had published theories that the moon of mars Phobos is actually the remnants of an space craft made by some ancient civilization and he has done a lot of analysis of various images of the face on Mars' surface. Then there is a whole ton of stuff that he says about the moon being littered with artifacts from an ancient space-faring civilization.

There is a lot of weird and unexplained things out there, but I hardly believe the whole ancient aliens thing. I think that we severely underestimate the intelligence and ingenuity of our ancient ancestors, but I don't think that they had lasers and levitation devices. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that some groups had a firm grasp of mechanical engineering and some (basic) chemistry aspects (i.e electroplating) going way further back than we commonly believe.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:46 AM

6. It's a martian space suit foot

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:49 AM

7. space trash

there is tons of it. They probably left some on the surface or in the atmosphere.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 07:53 AM

8. Flattened out beer can.

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Response to TheManInTheMac (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:15 AM

10. You nailed it !

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:18 AM

11. Excalibur!

Has to be

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Response to Blue Gardener (Reply #11)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:01 PM

49. Damn. And I thought I was going to be uniquely clever. You beat me to it =) eom

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:25 AM

12. Its a remnant from

Coast to Coast AM with ART BELL... SOMEONE call Richard C. Hoagland!

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:30 AM

14. I can't find my keys anywhere nt

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:33 AM

15. Wait until it digs out the sign that says "Do not pull lever" n/t

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:48 AM

17. Probably a diamond.

Now the federal government will give Halliburton 1.2 trillion dollars to go to mars to mine it. And for a reward for all their hard work and investment Halliburton will be able to claim all mining rights on mars.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 08:49 AM

18. Bender's "Shiney Metal Ass".

Last edited Sun Feb 10, 2013, 09:44 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to jdadd (Reply #18)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:02 AM

19. LOL!

You forgot an apostrophe.

But still funny.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:09 AM

20. Dick Cheney's heart.

Bionic, and pacemaker-ed by satellite remote. Developed by Halliburton using your tax dollars.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:13 AM

21. It's Saddam Hussein's marker showing where he buried his WMDs.

At least that is Condi Rice's explanation.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:15 AM

22. Last remnants of an unsuccessful Venusian invasion of Mars.

Done in by Martian microbes.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:20 AM

24. Some kind of mineral ore, I bet.

Could also be from a meteorite. Very interesting!

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:26 AM

26. Space junk? Looks like a hammer.

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Response to AllyCat (Reply #26)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:40 PM

37. A hammer?

Mjolnir!

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Response to theKed (Reply #37)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:53 PM

40. I don't know. The Cosmic Cube can disguise itself pretty well.

So it could be anything. Even a rock polished by erosion! You can't trust the Cube!

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Response to randome (Reply #40)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:00 PM

42. By that logic

it could be a hidden skrull.

Wait. Oh my god...it could be a hidden skrull!

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:29 AM

27. Looks like a gear shifter knob I once had

I always wondered what happened to it.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:33 AM

28. They found my wife's lost car keys.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:04 AM

30. It's one of Iran's deep space probes.

What remains of the monkey is underneath.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:05 AM

31. Swamp gas. Reflecting the light.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:27 AM

32. Looks like glass rather than metal to me, and according to NASA

it's about 5 mm long. Tiny little geologic process remnant.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #32)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:02 AM

33. I don't have a very firm grasp on ores and how they form

but, aside from some of the noble metals (gold and platinum), I don't think that most metals form naturally in a metallic looking state. They are bound up in ores that look more like crappy rocks than shiny metals.

There has been tons of volcanic activity on Mars in its past and I wouldn't be surprised if it was some sort of volcanic glass.

If the robot has any sort of XRF device, it'd be able to tell you in a matter of seconds what exactly the elemental makeup of the thing pictured is.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:04 AM

34. It's a Decepticon, obviously.

Mean robots suck.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 11:14 AM

35. It's a door knob,

and that rock is a door. They live underground because they fear the spread of America's culture.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:02 PM

36. It's a Ron Paul sign

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:41 PM

38. According to government officials

A weather balloon.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:44 PM

39. .

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:56 PM

41. My lost cell phone.

I don't remember anything about that night.

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Response to undeterred (Reply #41)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:24 PM

46. ...but it DOES explain the roaming charges on that last bill...

If you think you're carrier's bad, Mars Mobile makes them all look like pikers.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:09 PM

43. What did one Martian say to the other Martian?

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:13 PM

44. it's a quarter

that the 20% put up there to distract the canaille.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:21 PM

45. Unlike Buck Rogers, Roger Buck went BACK 500 years...

...his adventures were not nearly as entertaining, and did not end well.

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Response to JHB (Reply #45)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:38 PM

54. A very short-lived adventure, I would assume!

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 01:33 PM

48. Elvis' cufflink

Don't ask me how I know.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:19 PM

50. It's a periscope...."they" are watching us VERY carefully. nt.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:29 PM

51. It's the girl with the mousey hair wearing a suit of armor

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:36 PM

52. Looks like Johnny 5's hanging out

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:36 PM

53. Ask Wolowitz.

Wasn't he the last one to drive the rover?

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:42 PM

55. "It's a trap!"

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:43 PM

56. David Bowie's make-up case

Ziggy played guitaaaaaaaarrrrrrr.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 02:50 PM

57. Possible pure metal of some kind from an earlier vulcan period. nt

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 04:10 PM

58. looks like two beercan butts.

 

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