Amateur stargazers have discovered an intriguing object jutting out from the surface of Mars. The seemingly perfectly rectangular, upright structure, found in NASA images of the Red Planet, bears a striking resemblance to the monoliths planted on Earth and the moon by aliens in the classic sci-fi film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

The object in question was first spotted several years ago after being photographed by the HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a NASA space probe; every so often, it garners renewed interest on the Internet. But is it unnatural — a beacon erected by aliens for mysterious reasons, and even more mysteriously paralleled in the imaginations of Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, creators of “2001”? Or is this rock the work of nature? [Photo]

According to Jonathon Hill, a research technician and mission planner at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, who processes many of the images taken during NASA’s Mars missions, the object in question is no more than a roughly rectangular boulder. 

The HiRISE camera that photographed it has a resolution of approximately 1 foot (30 centimeters) per pixel — impressive considering the 180-mile (300-kilometer) altitude from which it photographs the Martian surface, but not quite sharp enough to capture the cragginess of a mid-size boulder. “When your resolution is too low to fully resolve an object, it tends to look rectangular because the pixels in the image are squares. Any curve will look like a series of straight lines if you reduce your resolution enough,” Hill told Life’s Little Mysteries.

The location of the boulder at the bottom of a cliff near many other boulders suggests it broke off the cliff and tumbled to its current spot sometime in the distant past, Hill said. Such a perilous location is itself an argument against deliberate placement by aliens: “If I was going to build a monolith somewhere, that’s the last place I would put it!” he said. “The debris falling from the cliff would cover it up pretty quickly, on geologic timescales.” [Photos: Mysterious Stone Structures]

Hill added that the height of the boulder is being exaggerated in the photo by a low sun angle. Photographed when the sun was near the horizon, the boulder casts an especially long shadow. 

The ufologists aren’t necessarily wrong in calling it a monolith — the word simply translates from Latin as “one stone.” But this monolith isn’t the masonry of Martians. 


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Mark Jolly · September 14, 2017 at 11:00 pm

That’s the new QT space stop !

John Dubose · September 14, 2017 at 9:17 pm

A hundred or so dubious pixels and everyone looses their minds.

Simon Marino · September 14, 2017 at 9:41 am

I wonder who they buried there?

Richie Richard Gunn · September 13, 2017 at 10:17 pm

Yeah we’ve seen that, it was in Mission to Mars

Russ Jones · September 13, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Scientists say the object isn’t rectangular but actually curved and appears straight because of the pixelation.
Then why aren’t the rocks also depicted straight, but rounded?
That’s NASA for you. They can come up with the most bullshit technobabble to hide the true facts and hope we fall for it.

Andy Smith · September 13, 2017 at 11:17 am

Mars is a star its a luminary thats y it can be seen with the naked eye from over 40 million miles away

Connor Dean · September 13, 2017 at 10:16 am

Matt Brockhurst Ryan Brockhurst

Alexander Blake Mullins · September 13, 2017 at 12:29 am

Stan Markiw · September 13, 2017 at 12:14 am

i love how they can snap a better picture of something on the surface of another planet than of something flying through the air on Earth haha

Steven Whyte · September 28, 2016 at 10:47 am

This “Johnathon Hill” is at it… He said its nothing more than a “boulder” due to the resolution of the camera.. I took it in, looked at the pic and straight away noticed a smaller round things directly to the left of this “Monolith”… So is the camera just making its own rules or is this guy just not seeing this..

His argument has just been debunked. That IS a massive structure, with a shadow, that we have noticed.

These people who are trying to device our population should all be taken and put on the moon and left to tell there lies to each other. We ain’t stupid…

Liliane van Bueren · September 27, 2016 at 11:29 pm


Johnny Todoroff · September 27, 2016 at 10:22 pm

If the United States has spy satellites with cameras capable of reading a newspaper being held by a person setting on a bench from over 350 mile in space; why are all the photos taken of the surfers of the Moon and Mars from orbiting satellites are always slightly out of focus?

Martha Wentworth · September 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

Mike Pennington · September 27, 2016 at 5:40 pm

What that one on phobos that was snapped like 5years ago..

Bob Ivy · September 27, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Trumps’ newest high rise hotel. LOL!

Linda Krzyzan · September 27, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Shades of “2001”…!!!

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