A while ago, NASA discovered an unusual and mysterious rock formation on the surface of planet Mars. UFO hunters immediately came up with the theory according to which, that bizarre shape is actually an extraterrestrial spaceship. However, reality might be completely different, a study which the Journal of Geophysical Research recently published claims. Most likely, volcanic activity caused this rock formation on Mars. It most likely took place on the planet billions of years ago. Its official name is The Medusae Fossae Formation and was first discovered back in the 1960s.
The Mariner spacecraft is the one that noticed the existence of this strange formation and at the time, scientists were not sure what exactly caused it. According to Lujendra Ojha, who was part of the study, this is a massive deposit even on a solar system scale. There is no other known formation that is similar in any way with this one. It is indeed huge, measuring about one-fifth the size of the United States. It could even be the biggest explosive volcanic deposit in our entire solar system. The study characterizes the structure as relatively porous and of uncertain origin. This might include eolian, volcanic and even ice-related mechanisms.
The mysterious Medusae Fossae Formation on Mars
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In order to measure the formation’s density for the first time, the team of researchers used data from many Mars orbiter spacecraft. It seems that it is two-thirds as dense as the rest of the crust on the Red Planet. The most important theory the team has is that most likely, explosive volcanic eruptions which took place 3 billion-years ago caused the rock formation.
Moreover, because this formation has released high levels of water and carbon dioxide, it basically contributed to the creation of Mars’ hydrosphere and atmosphere.
Image source: flickr