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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 15:18 GMT
The "mermaid" on Mars
blow-up of Nasa image of Mars "mermaid"
The picture that launched a thousand emails

Is it a man, a mermaid, a beast or simply a rock? This undated image of the surface of Mars, was taken by Nasa's explorer rover Spirit. It has re-ignited the debate about life on Mars.

We asked you what you thought the picture depicted.

Some of your comments are published below.

Read the story


I think it is some form of life in human like shape....
Bedadyuti Chowdhury, Guwahati, India

Nasa are bound to know the coordinates of where this picture was taken and so they should return again to take a picture of the same place. If the object has moved its a lifeforn, if not its a rock! Use your brains!!!
Daniel Foster, Castledawson Northern Ireland

This is clear evidence of alien life. We should all ready ourselves for an attack of martian mermaids...
Paul, Nottingham

The figure on Mars is not striding, clearly it's arm is outstretched quite recognisably thumbing a lift from the Rover.
Ged, Maidenhead UK

Loch Ness Monster all over again! Could just be a strange rock formation, the picture is just vague enough to cause speculation.
Paul, York, UK

I think these are rocks on the mars. Nothing new one, there is no any possibility of life on mars.
Johnson, Kuwait City

it looks like a man, but maybe there were life on mars but i don't think there are life on mars now!
Roman , Leeds

I think it is not a mermaid it is a stachue.
Mohammed Razook, Ernakulam, India

Why are we so arrogant to think that martians - if they do exist - are going to look anything like humans? All sci-fi fiction uses this assumption and its a load of rubbish.
Josie, Sedgley

It's a tiny rock formation caused by centuries of wind. It must only be a few inches tall.
Shaun B, Ruthin

Its quite obviously a rock. People can just seeing what they want to see. Its like an intergalactic version of cloud watching.
Alastair, Nottingham

Its a cut scence from a star wars movie i.e. sandpeople.NEXT!
Winston, Brisbane Australia

Well, considering it doesn't even look like any living creature spare the shape that resembled a head and body, which more than likely would not be the resemblance of an extraterrestrial, i don't think it is anything more than a rock or shadow, dirt on the lense or trick of light. Especially since for there to be life, there needs to be a source of fuel, nothing we can see on mars is fuel, so if it was a alien, its not from mars, if it is from another planet. where are the others? its ship? and why are they stopping to sit on a desert planet out of sight of their ship, leaving our robots alone and not at earth now?
Beau, Caloundra Australia

Is it not the case that the "Red Planet" is only red because of the atmosphere, and not because of the colour of the surface which is grey. And that NASA photos are doctored to uphold the belief that it is Mars by fitting along with the general consensus that it should be red. If they showed the original grey photos then everyone would say "that can't be Mars it's not red". In the end though. I think it is a rock.
Craig Mathison, Glasgow

If you look closely at the enlarged version, you can see it's just shadows on the underside of a jagged rock poking up from a small ridge that's quite hard to pick out because it's blending into the background. Shame, though...
Paul, Glasgow

like, that's clearly a bloke innit. why is Nasa trying to hide this from us????? THATS THE REAL QUESTION! they know about alien life. I'm not saying it's like men in black or nothing, but it ain't far off innit.
Jon, Bristol

NASA release a photo when the approval rating of the programme is at an all time low. Coincidence? No?
Rob, Basingstoke, UK

Hey its Elvis. "Elvis has not left Mars".
Mathew, Coonabarabran

track that man/alien down!!!! give us some real proof ...
Dee White, Carrick Belfast Northern Ireland

It's one of the set designers in Nevada...
James Pels, Staffs

When i was looking through my telescope, which my dad gave me when i was 16, i was also pretty sure i saw a martian flying through space this is groundbreaking stuff, please contact me if you need any help on the History of martians as my knowledge is top notch. God bless our Earth. Sam Twell
Sam Twell, Lincoln

You could be right, i am a big believer in life after the earth. I have worked all my life on looking for life out there, could this be a breakthrough. Let's hope that it is true.
Azeem Pervez, Lincoln

If people are saying its a "moving OR static" thing then why not just have the rover go to the same spot and take another image. Then move around and take other images to see what it looks like in 3D?
Mike, London, UK

It just seems to be eroded rock. I am sure if 10,000 eroded rock are looked at some of them will look like something. Rocks on earth are named after what they look like all the time. We even see patterns in the position of stars in the sky. No little green men needed.
Sidney Skinner, St. Michael, Barbados

Who'd have thought it? Fancy meeting our first alien on Mars and it's not even a Martian. That much is clear as there is no evidence of aerials on top of the creatures head.
Bill Tucker, Portsmouth, England

What do I think? I think it's the biggest pile of garbage ever. To me it looks nothing like a human figure. The so called "arm" is probably just a bit of rock sticking out, and people, as usual, have jumped the gun and proclaimed that there's life on Mars. To me, "Life on Mars" (not the TV programme, though I suppose you could include it)is just Sci-Fi nonsense. While we're at it, why don't we all start looking for Chewbacca and the Wookies?
James M., Northern Ireland

It's obviously a bigfoot carrying a case of Kokanee Beer. Looks just like the one in the commercials and on the labels. (A very good Pilsner by the way) Or people have been drinking to much beer when they see something other than a shadow from the rock formations. At least it has people talking and thinking about space exploration.
Peter, Calgary, Canada

An Angel having a think about what he just sore on earth and getting ready to watch Harmagedon.
Mathew, Coonabarabran

I have my doubts that this is a real living creature. It more like shadows and rocks if you ask me. But each to their own and if someone wants to think there is life on Mars then good on 'em. Life it is. These are my thoughts so, take 'em or leave 'em. Pam. Brisbane, Australia.
Pam, Brisbane, Australia

Cool though life on Mars would be, I think it's more likely a perspective or optical illusion. Shame really!
Simon, Northampton

We can speculate until the cows come home, but until John Q Martian makes a televised announcement shaking hands/flippers/tentacles with the President of the United States (before being carted off and dissected to prove scientifically that he is indeed an alien - John Q that is, not the President) I shan't believe any of it. And believe me, I want to believe.
Antony, Reigate, Surrey

It's a rock. Big deal.
OT, Amstelveen, The Netherlands

Let's not forget the loch ness monster photos.
Alex, Hereford

I'm sure it's not a person walking across. However, it does look like some kind of statue, possibly built by aliens.
Dan, Chaventry, England

My imagination perhaps, behind and to the left of the image it almost looks like letters in the sand, OS or OSi???? Their doesn't seem to be anything like that anywhere else in the image or at least not that clear.
Con Georgiades, NSW Australia

Why don't they just send the rover back to take the same shot again, If as I suspect the figure is still there its obviously a rock formation (or a martian sloth), But if its not there, now that would be interesting.
Trefor Morgan-Hayes, Wirral, Merseyside

Maybe it is the little green mermaid. Mind you, with so little water on the surface of Mars, I don't think she tempts too many sailors to wreck their boats.
Andrew Thorne, Wavre, Belgium

Why is it always the case that a blurred or far away image of something 'alien' is shown? I do realise there is a great chance for something extra-terrestrial to exist in this huge universe but solid proof is needed to make me and others believe.
Constantinos Argyrides, Nicosia, Cyprus





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