You saw the . Your mouth watered over the possibility of anYou marveled at the . Now meet the ancient god of Mars, a rock on the Red Planet that looks a bit like a face straight out of an archaeology textbook.
UFO Sightings Daily, a blog dedicated to signs of potential alien activity, first brought attention to the "face" on Monday. The original image that sparked the excitement is from NASA's Mars Opportunity rover. The rover's panoramic camera captured the scene and NASA uploaded it as a raw image on its Mars exploration website.
If you squint and let your imagination run wild, you can see the resemblance to ancient sculptures like you might find in the British Museum. It especially echoes a Neo-Assyrian attendant god dedicated to Nabu, a god of wisdom.
It also looks like someone shaved the face off the museum's famous colossal winged lion statue and plopped it down for Opportunity to find. The lion dates back to 883-859 BC.
The "face" doesn't have to be a fantastical creature like a winged lion with a human head. It could just as easily be a match for a king. Once again, let's check in with the British Museum, keeper of antiquities. We find a replica mask of a Mesopotamian king that's a dead ringer for the artfully shadowed Mars rock.
There are several very different conclusions we could draw from all of this. One, the ancient Assyrians developed a sophisticated method of space travel, zipped over to Mars and left behind some telltale sculptures for NASA to find many decades later. Two, aliens, who also happened to worship ancient Assyrian gods, left behind a sculpture on Mars. Or three, it's a rock. Just a rock. Just a cool-looking rock that resembles a face.