back to article Mystery martian object is relic of (our) civilisation

NASA has decided the mystery shiny object on Mars merits another day of probing, but is fairly sure it is a piece of plastic from the Curiosity rover. The space agency's explanation for the object says: The rover team's assessment is that the bright object is something from the rover, not Martian material. It appears to be a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah...humans !

    We've already started tu turn Mars into a garbage dump too. The efficiency with which humans can srew up their environment boggles the mind !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah...humans !

      It's just a piece of Beagle 2 from the successful British mission a few years ago.

      As you can clearly see, we were here first - therefore we call dibs.

      Go find your own bit of Mars to explore NASA.

  2. P_0

    @ Peter R.1

    Calm down, it's just a lump of plastic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @ Peter R.1

      That's not the point, it's the fact that it's sitting on a thoughtlessly discarded poppadum >:(

      1. CmdrX3

        Well done that man

        That was funny.

      2. stucs201

        Re: poppadum

        So what you're saying is the first man on Mars is in fact Dave Lister?

        <---- "Of course, lager! The only thing that can kill a vindaloo".

  3. jake Silver badge

    Out of curiosity(sic) ...

    Why not zap it with the laser & view the results? Should be a good calibration tool.

    1. Paddy 2
      Thumb Up

      Re: Out of curiosity(sic) ...

      ...and the exercise would prove beyond doubt the origin of the 'relic'.

  4. Tom Bradbury


    Looks like a dead mouse to me

    1. Dr Stephen Jones
      Thumb Up

      Re: rodent

      Me too.

      Mouse on Mars will be pleased.

  5. Esskay

    Martian Uncertainty Principal

    Shirley this simply demonstrates the difficulty of observing a far off planet in any reasonable detail - the very act of putting a rover in a "pristine" environment eliminates the very thing which makes it "pristine".

    Of course, the ramifications of this are (in my opinion) far less dramatic than we think - it's only the types of people who leave the little protective piece of plastic attached to the screen of their clock radios for years that believe we've "ruined" mars.

    I do think it highlights the need to be able to stay on top of what bits of Mars are actually bits of Mars, and what bits of Mars are actually bits of laser-wielding robot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: we've "ruined" mars

      aaay lad, I remember when it were all dust, sand and rubble round these parts. Nah lukit

    2. LeeS

      Re: Martian Uncertainty Principal

      I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

  6. Paddy 2

    Actually, Martian Observer effect

    ...just nitpicking, though. Apparently even Heisenberg was never quite sure about this.

  7. Magister

    Ah Hah!

    It appears that we received no further transmission from the moon because Mr Cavor was successful in reproducing his amazing discovery and decided to head on out further into the solar system!

  8. Scott Broukell

    Part of a ........

    Spent shot gun cartridge maybe.

    Queue sounds of another round going into the breach of a pump-action, and ...

    "Ere! Get orf of my land!" in a gruff Martian accent.

    1. hplasm

      Re: Part of a ........

      Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator.


      Earth Shattering Kaboom.

      1. Anonymous Custard

        Re: Part of a ........

        Or there would be if some wabbit hadn't wun (sorry, run) off with it...

        And all he wanted was a good view of Venus.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Part of a ........

      "Cue sounds of another round going into the breach of a pump-action, and ..."

      There, fixed it for you.

  9. Khaptain Silver badge

    That is not Mars

    Mars is the Red Planet, those images are of a Grey Planet. Therefore by the powers of sheer deduction, Watson, I infer that the image is actually of the moon.

    Ah-ha we have proof that the Yanks have finally landed on the moon then.

    Hang on a minute, it mentions that the photographer/directors name is S Kubrick........ Something smells fishy here.

  10. Blofeld's Cat

    Uh ho...

    It looks like part of the wrapping paper from an "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator".

    Waiting for the kaboom

  11. Magnus_Pym

    Perhaps it's all that's left...

    .. of the Beagle :(

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like a roach to me.

    1. Eddy Ito

      Who knew?

      Marijuana grows on Mars. Wait, the munchies! That totally explains the poppadom.

  13. Bobby Omelette

    Shurely, with it being Curiousity and all ...

    ... they should be sending it "Straight back down y'all, straight back down to earth"?

  14. Mage Silver badge


    The Magpie aka Curiosity is easily distracted by bling.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proof of Water

    Looks like a dead prawn/shrimp shell to me. This proves Water existed there.

    Millions spent on the missions now justified.

    Please, can we have more funding, now?

  16. Ilgaz

    NASA stopping for a shiny object?

    Is there a chance they hired Jack McFarland from Will& Grace?

  17. Andus McCoatover

    Someone's got sharp eyes in NASA

    to spot someting so small...

    1. Crisp

      It's not really that small

      It's just very far away.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd say Rover should take off and nuke the site from orbit .... it's the only way to be sure.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I wonder if they actually did build that function in...

      Nice vanilla lady voice - "Core fusion in T -20 seconds and counting".

      Actually that DID look like a shell off a prawn / dried ancient cockroach / scale of a beastie.

  19. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    OK, that's it

    Through the despicable actions of irresponsible scientists Mars can no longer be considered an untouched, virgin, pristine environment. It will never be the same again and is hopelessly contaminated.

    Now, that it is impossible to reverse the effects of this disaster we can safely go and terraform that planet any way we want!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: OK, that's it

      Let me, or better, NASA know when you've worked out a way to move Mars to a suitable orbit. One that won't destabilise ours.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: OK, that's it

        No need to change it's orbit. We just need to make sure all the Martian cities are powered by big'n'dirty coal fired power stations and everyone drives around in petrol/diesal powered cars without cat converters in the exhaust. Global warming can be useful :-)

        Coat. Because it aint warm enough up there...yet.

  20. Winkypop Silver badge


    Now how is Curiosity going to find a rubbish bin to put that in?

  21. Barry Tabrah

    It's a piece of a Mars Bar wrapper

    Now stop messing around and get back to making sand castles already!

  22. Asylum Sam

    use the scoop to create a small hole, extend the built in hand brush, sweep said detritus into hjole, cover, label as 'martian landfill No 1', job done, out of sight out of mind.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[it's] a shred of plastic material, likely benign"

    Oh crap, I've seen that film. We're doomed!

  24. nexsphil

    another shitty black & white image?

    Why are the most interesting images always in ultra-shit quality and black & white? I was looking at a hi-res full colour vistas the other day - why can't they give us a shot from *that* camera?

    1. Powelly

      Re: another shitty black & white image?

      No can do; that one's back on Earth in the TV studio. ;-)

    2. Neil 8

      Re: another shitty black & white image?

      Sure, there you go:

      However, that's as close as this camera can get, I think. Which is why they gave us the clearer but mono image from the other camera instead...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need some angles..

    If they could take a shot of that object from 45 degrees right and left we could get some idea of the 3D profile - may help. If it is equipped for that, that is..

  26. Markus Wallett

    Imagine seeing ruins on mars -- that you would infer as being from the past, but which haven't even been built yet (by our hands.) Get your heads around that.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Condom wrapper. You can see the tooth marks and everything.

  28. t_lark

    Looks like a prawn

  29. DayDragon

    Are they sure it's not just something stuck the the camera lense?

    1. Annihilator

      If that was the first and only picture they'd taken with that camera, then sure. But it's not.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, they are. Did you by any chance design the alumina window on the latest iPhone? It would explain a lot.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    I had a friend who was a bit of a conspiracy theorist nut, but actually many of his predictions came true over time as observed by me and several others. he's dead now, but he once speculated that when we do arrive on mars, one of the first odd relics we would find would be a crushed beer can or some other trash.

    Makes me wonder.......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Finding beer cans and crap on Marrs

      A human skull would be even funnier..................

      Next to a star ship with NASA on the side and an ID plate marked "3050 AD"......

      That would completely fuck EVERYTHING wouldn't it.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Doomsday device

    Most likely this is the doomsday device which we'll accidentally activate in about 2 months or so, resulting in the end of the solar system as we know it.

    Amazing that those Mayan's knew all this; I bet those bastards put this device on Mars themselves...

    (how's that for a conspiracy theory?)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Doomsday device

      Google for Mayan Astronaut. It's all true!!!11!!!

  32. PyLETS

    Landing debris ?

    Getting Curiosity down safely involved a few explosions to separate the rover from the skycrane and the skycrane from the parachute and to get rid of the heatshield. Must have left bits of shredded junk all over the place.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proof that we need human astronauts. A human can see things at a glance that would take a robot and a room full of engineers days to figure out remotely.

    Just think of what we are missing. Unlike in the 60's our civilization is probably incapable of putting real people on the moon again much less another planet. Too mired in paperwork and political correctness. Soon enough we will be back to using outhouses instead of indoor plumbing because even new sewage plants will be too hard to actually accompish. Not to mention doing it in the dark because its too hard to build a new power plant to generate electricity.

  34. ManUtdUSA


    It's the wrapper off an "Earth" bar.

    "An Earth a day, helps you work rest and play"

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