back to article Curiosity scoops up SHINY BITS from the RED SANDS of MARS!

Curiosity's latest dig into Martian soil has uncovered yet more shiny objects, but this time boffins don't think they're from the rover. Bright bit in hole dug by Curiosity When the science truck swallowed its first solid sample of soil for analysis by its CheMin instrument to look at the minerals inside, it saw that bright …


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  1. JaffaMan
    Thumb Up

    Looks like a tooth

    Kinda looks like a tooth! I hope it's a tooth! That would be the most exciting discovery ever1

    Consider if we had actual people on Mars this "is it isn't it?" issue with man made debris would have been resolved almost instantly.

    Keep rolling curiosity. Hope you're still rolling when human feet finally touch down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rabbit S**t

      Those little black things, there's rabbits on Mars.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rabbit S**t

        Could be rats, you're never more than 6 feet away from one.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Looks like a tooth

      I think it's chewing gum. The damn stuff gets everywhere.

  2. Arachnoid

    Hmm........might be crystaline in structure,laser the thing baby and see if it fries.

    1. Fibbles

      If there's one thing that I've learned from star trek, it's that you should never fire an energy beam at a crystaline entity.

  3. Dick Emery

    Crystalline bead?

    How far is this from the landing site? I wonder if it's been created by heat from the lander.

    1. Christoph

      Re: Crystalline bead?

      Pretty unlikely if it was exposed by digging - the soil above it would have to have been fried even more.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Could be SiO4, perhaps.

  5. chris lively

    Martians never left

    Obviously the giant Martian space ark blew up when attempting to leave the surface.

    This is good news for humanity because it means they aren't coming back.

    1. Alan Dougherty

      Re: Martians never left

      Or, it's ONE of the space arks that didn't make it. We got off one of the other ones here.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Martians never left

        We got off one of the other ones here.

        Oh dear. That explains all the marketeers, hairdressers and telephone sanitisers then. The wrong one arrived.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Martians never left

          It's like the Y2K segment of the Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors. We're descended from the ancient Martian equivalent of Pauly Shore and Rosie O'Donnell!!

          (and no, I'm not fixated on the Simpsons, I just liked the joke in that episode so much that I remember it.)

  6. Lars Silver badge


    Gold and more gold, of course.

  7. Trokair 1

    Its GOLD. Look politicians, an angle for space travel that involves profit!!!11111111!!1!!! Finally something you idiots can understand! Lets get to the funding!!!!

    1. ZankerH

      Unfortunately, at current prices of gold and space travel, retrieving gold (or just about any natural material) from Mars wouldn't be worth it.

      1. LaeMing

        You are assuming the average politician is capable of understanding that!

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          No politicians wants to be anywhere near gold! It's passé since Nixon at least.

          Jesus X Christ, politicians do not WANT gold. They have fiat money (i.e. bits of paper with pretty pictures on it - sadly no lolcats or ponies). This allows them to pay for wars, armies of civil servants and otherwise untenable "social security" promises at the turn of a printing press with nary a peep from the masses (actually, with cheers from the masses, especially from the Marxistically enclined ones who never even understood how to wipe their own proletarian arses, but I digress).

          tl;dr: Hard Money is as yesterday as Political Responsibility

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: No politicians wants to be anywhere near gold! It's passé since Nixon at least.

            humans invented politicians and money. time for them to go i think. patience is wearing thin, many humans did not deserve to be alive in the first place.

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

              Re: No politicians wants to be anywhere near gold! It's passé since Nixon at least.

              "Money" is not "paper money" in the same way as a hamburger is not the picture of a hamburger.

              Check it out: The Origin of Money And Its Value

              And getting rid of money? Sure, if you want to sit in a cave trying to decide whether stones are edible. Definitely an alienation-free Marxian Paradise, but it has its drawbacks.

  8. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Quoth the rover...


    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Quoth the rover...

      ... and a million fanbois gasped in yearning.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ... it's litter dropped by thoughtless Martians. They don't have any anti-litter laws on Mars - yet.

    1. El Presidente

      Re: Nah...

      Ancient ring pulls from beer cans is my guess.

      1. LaeMing

        Re: Nah...

        Them silicon-based lifeforms just poop wherever they feel like.

  10. Arachnoid

    Invariably it may well be contamination from either the lander internals or from the landing procedure itself.This said surely the chemical composition of the article can verify this or not.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's been put there to test our faith...

  12. NomNomNom

    "Come in red leader, the Earth robot has started moving again."

    "Excellent. How long was it stopped for?"

    "Three days."

    "Any idea why it stopped?"

    "We believe the human operators became confused upon encountering a shiny piece of the robot in the dirt"

    "For three days?! Well what is it doing now?"

    "It keeps scooping up dirt and dropping it again. I don't think the humans like the shiny pieces they see in the sand"

    "What is this some kind of joke? Why the fuck have they sent a robot all the way here just to piss about playing in the sand and shooting shitty little lasers at pebbles? Why aren't they exploring the Pyramid and the Face we built for them? Did they not see them? We built them big enough and at the right angle didn't we? If they don't buck their ideas up soon I'm gonna send one of our robots to Earth to destroy one of their cities and then maybe they'll understand the whole concept of Sending A Robot To Another Planet To Do Shit"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Take a shiny thing out of petty trash.

      Well done, good sir/madam.

  13. Arachnoid

    Meanwhile Curiosity continues to buld sand castles in concentric circles waiting for the tide to come in and wash them away.

  14. 8Ace

    Kit Kat wrappers

    It's obvious

  15. DF118

    Andromeda Strain

    That is all

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Andromeda Strain

      Don't you mean "Andromeda Stain"?

  16. sueme2

    martian mineral

    could be mica or something left over from the old impact. That event would have been bright and glowy. But this is in the dirt. I would go for mica followed by opel. opel would be interesting.

  17. sueme2

    opal opal opal opal

    opal i must learn to spell .

  18. Alan Brown Silver badge


    Opal would be very interesting, considering what they're made out of.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Opal

      An Opel would be even more interesting. Is Elvis's Cadillac still on the moon?

    2. nullselfreference

      Re: Opal

      I did some digging, and it seems it could well be opal too.

      This could be very interesting indeed.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

        Re: Opal

        Unless it is The Luggage, encrusted in opal. Be on the look out for lots of little legs!

  19. Marshalltown
    Thumb Up

    Quartz and ...

    The "bright" piece looks like a bit of white quartz. What I find very interesting is the soil itself. The fine gravel or coarse sand appears rounded - well rounded in fact. Here on the Blue Planet that means water transport. Also, notice that the very fine sand adheres together in small clusters of grains and that a lot of the rounded pea gravel has coatings of fine sand that are more than one grain thick. That looks remarkably like slightly damp, very fine sand. The problem is NASA didn't include a scale.

  20. flearider
    Thumb Up

    good or bad

    well it's either "unattainable" a new long lasting power source ..or grouped bacteria rdy to pounce ...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: good or bad

      Did you mean unobtanium?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beagle 2

    so that's what happend...

  22. Richard Scratcher

    Life on Mars?

    "The new bright bits are smaller, there's [sic] more of them and they are located inside the hole that Curiosity dug, rather than laying on the surface.

    What would they be laying on the surface? Eggs? Each other?

  23. Peladon

    I know I'm an Idiot...

    ... or at least a simpleton :-). But...

    There's, like, robots. On, like _Mars_. Wot we put there. And some of them have been there for _years_, trundling round. And one of them, it's, like, seeing things, and we can see them too. And it's picking things up, and, like, looking at them chemically and physically and...

    And there'sbloodyrobotsonbloodyMarsandwebloodyputthemthereand... :-) :-) :-)

    OK. I know. The red pill. It's OK. I took one :-P. But this, to me at least, is still cooler than mixed vanilla and belgian chocolate ice-cream. It's so cool it makes liquid nitrogen look like a nice cup of tea. And pretty close to just as cool is that, like, there's places like this with folks like you guys (yes, and guy-ettes) who just love to speculate, to ponder and to give a damn.

    There may, just may, be hope for the rotten race yet :-).

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bits of Beagle 2?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      If so, street sanitation efforts on Mars seem lacklustre. Someone's gonna be ASBOed for this.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Apple has already filed a patent on the stuff as a casing material for the new iPad.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's from Apple.

    Oh look, it has rounded corners.

  27. Feldagast

    DeBeers eat your heart out

    Just diamonds, no big deal.

  28. zaphy42


    These guys must be going nuts!

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