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Sci-Tech

Suspended 'spoon' spotted on Mars

Another unusual formation on the Red Planet wows space fans by resembling a popular eating utensil.

Something's cooking on Mars. Look near the center of this shot.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Mars doesn't need women, it needs chefs.

NASA's Curiosity rover is still busy rumbling around on the Red Planet, exploring the area near a place call Mount Sharp. Researchers are busy poring over visuals and data sent back by the rover, looking for anything of scientific interest, but the rest of us are looking for weird formations that resemble objects found on Earth.

Fredk, a sharp-eyed contributor to the Unmanned Spaceflight forums, noticed a funny shape in a raw image taken by Curiosity during Mars sol 1089, which translates to August 30 for us. It looks like a long-handled spoon, delicately stretching out over the landscape, hovering above its own shadow.

Conditions on Mars are very different from what we have on Earth. Our Blue Marble has 2.66 times the gravity of Mars, so fragile formations that would collapse here stand a better chance of holding up there.

The gravity-defying formation should be admired for its graceful beauty and resemblance to silverware, though it's likely some small circles of the Internet will see in it a sign of alien life. Hungry alien life with cooking skills. Evidence of Gordon Ramsey on Mars.

As with many of the strange objects seen in rover images, the spoon is in all likelihood extremely small. It's also no more an actual spoon than the Mars jelly doughnut is an interstellar dessert or the Mars crab a space crustacean. It wasn't accidentally dropped by a space-faring Elvis Presley as he dug into a jar of peanut butter provisions on his way to pose for the Face on Mars.