The latest bizarre discovery by online Mars anomaly hunters is a strange Martian rock formation that looks like a long-handled ladle or a spoon, floating just above the Martian surface.
The appearance of a "spoon" suspended over the Martian surface -- as seen in the photo -- is so striking that it has sparked an online controversy and forced NASA to respond, describing the anomaly as a "classic case of pareidolia."
But anomaly hunters challenge NASA, wondering why a supposedly barren planet appears filled with anomalies that must be dismissed repeatedly by appeal to the psychological pareidolia phenomenon.
The amazing "floating spoon" was spotted by YouTube UFOlogsits on the forum UnmannedSpaceflight, in a photo of the Martian surface captured by Curiosity Rover's Mastcam Left at 01:00:25 UTC on August 30, 2015 (SOL 1089).
Online anomaly hunter Jason Hunter uploaded images of the odd discovery to YouTube (see below) on September 2.
The visual impression that the "spoon" was floating or levitating is enhanced by what appears to be a shadow beneath the "spoon."
The latest discovery is so odd that even some Mars anomaly hunters admit that it could a "trick of the light" with regard to the geological formation. But some UFOlogists insist that the shadow cast by the "spoon" on the ground and the apparent direction of sunlight proves that the object is an alien UFO shaped like a spoon.
Scott Waring, UFO Sightings Daily editor, argues that the levitating spoon is not a trick of light. He points to a similar anomaly nearby -- an object that also appears to be levitating near the "spoon."
The photo below shows the second levitating object, which Waring identifies as a Marty McFly hoverboard, shaped like a foot.
"I found another levitating object and it is bigger. The object I found was in the shape of a foot and was the perfect size to be a hover board. Its hovering 100%."
"Yeah, it sounds strange, but this board is hovering all by itself and if we can get that tech back here on Earth, the the world will soon be filled with Marty McFlys."
But NASA has declared in exasperation that the "floating spoon" is a "classic case of pareidolia" or more appropriately, in this case, "apophenia."
Incidentally, the latest find and response from NASA comes soon after the agency took the unusual step of issuing strongly- worded criticism of the claim by alien hunters that NASA has evidence of advanced life and civilization on Mars but is withholding it.
A NASA scientist, Ashwin Vasavada, with NASA's Mars rover project, denied allegations that the agency was withholding information about aliens and UFOs.
According to Vasavada, in an interview with CNN, while NASA scientists would be happy to find proof of advanced life and culture on Mars, there is "no evidence at this time of Martian iguanas or rats. One of the best things we found is that Mars could support life, (but) if anything we think it's microbial life that's possible at this time."
"There is no group that would be happier to see such a thing than the 500 scientists around the world who work on this Curiosity rover."
[Images: NASA, via UFO Sightings Daily; UFO Sightings Hotspot]