Scientists can't explain a massive pit found on Mars

Picture: NASA

An image of the surface of Mars taken by the NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed a massive pit.

Yes, it’s a hole, which sounds a lot less exciting than a giant crab god, thigh bones, weird jelly donuts, Donald Trump’s head or an ape-lady catching some rays.

But unlike all those other things, the hole is real, and can’t be explained by theories about people convincing themselves to see things that aren’t there.

Here’s a closer look. We brightened it a little, too:

Picture: NASA

Also, massive holes are interesting. Especially sinkholes, and even more so if they’re sinkholes that can’t be explained.

The jury, for example, is still out on what’s causing these to pop up on Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula:

Picture: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

The pit on Mars has similar characteristics. In 11 years of circling the planet taking photos, NASA’s orbiter has seen many holes, from meteorite strikes to lava tubes, but nothing like this.

The scale here is presented at 50cm per pixel. That, according to ScienceAlert, puts the pit at “hundreds of metres across”.

But was it causing by something coming in? Or something going out?

The white patches surrounding the hole are frozen carbon dioxide. When Mars’ summer comes around, the dry ice turns into gas, leaving the circles.

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