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"In 1976, a space probe orbiting Mars took a picture of a formation on the surface of the planet resembling a humanoid face. Although originally dismissed as a meaningless curiosity, the Mars 'Face' located in a region called Cydonia has come to define all that is unknown about our closest planetary neighbor. Is it the signature of an unknown intelligence or simply the work of erosion? At first take, the second option is easier to accept. The implications of intelligent life on Marsólet alone intelligence capable of carving a human likeness in the desertóseems resoundingly absurd. Surely the notion that the Mars Face is artificial is the product of wishful thinking.

"But regardless of first impressions, the notorious Face on Mars has remained a genuine scientific enigma. Its dimensions and geometry are suspiciously artificial-looking, as would be expected from an intentionally created monument. And rigorous computer modeling has put to rest the conventional wisdom that the Face is a fortuitous trick of light and shadow; the Face remains face-like when viewed from a variety of angles and illumination conditions. Debunkers, who delight in comparing the Mars Face to natural profiles such as the 'Old Man in the Mountain,' seem blissfully content to ignore the fact that their would-be terrestrial counterparts are only visible under limited viewing conditions. The Mars Face is not only anomalous to the human eye; it is demonstrably strange, at odds with the surrounding terrain."

--Mac Tonnies, "The Face on Mars: Evidence of Extraterrestrial Intelligence?"


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