European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet doesn't have an explanation for a series of dark zig-zagging parallel lines he spotted in a Russian snowscape. Pesquet snapped a photo of the formation from his vantage point on board the International Space Station and posted it to Twitter on Friday.
Pesquet describes the view as "minimalist snow art" and writes, "I cannot explain these km-long parallel lines."
I have some outlandish ideas. Perhaps it's a UFO landing lane. Or maybe it's the world's craziest Slip 'N Slide course. Could also be someone trying to replicate the Red Room carpet from "Twin Peaks."
The real answer is probably much more mundane. Pesquet also posted the photo to his Flickr account where a small discussion is underway in the comments. Flickr user Jean Petit posted a link to a fascinating Russian map titled "Location of state forest protective belts and of field shelterbelt plantings." The map details a plan for protective forest plantings dating to 1949 through 1965. The patterns look very similar to what Pesquet's photo shows.
Our mysterious lines may not be so mysterious after all, but we're still left with a fascinating photo.