Do Martians love spaghetti? That’s the question of the hour. NASA’s infamous Mars rovers are always finding new interesting features of the red planet, but every now and then, they stumble upon things that, to the untrained eye, look like something that belongs on Earth. That’s what happened recently when Sol 495 (the Perseverance Rover) snapped an image of what resembled a pasta-like plant.
Spaghetti on Mars?
It’s been a wild ride for rovers on Mars! First, it was the gigantic “mice,” then it was the mysterious “doorway,” and now spaghetti is joining in the fun. In a photo made by the Perseverance Rover that has since become NASA’s Image of the Week, you can spot a curious object that bears a striking resemblance to the beloved Italian pasta. If you want to believe in aliens, you can recognize a strange plant in the photo, but if you’re a fan of refined pasta, you’re likely to spot the main ingredient in Spaghetti Bolognese.
Unfortunately for both parties, the image captured on the 495th Martian day of the rover’s mission isn’t an alien plant or a cluster of spaghetti. According to scientists, it’s most likely something much more mundane — debris, either from a rover or trash generated by NASA.
Debris on the Red Planet
While there were plenty of Twitter users who got excited about the possibility of having Italians on Mars, their joy was short-lived upon realizing the image most likely showed debris that came from Earth. Proof of that are images that the Perseverance Rover captured weeks earlier that showed a piece of debris that came from its own sky crane. Shortly before that, the rover came across other pieces of trash, courtesy of NASA.
So, for now, the concept of Martians being fans of Italian cuisine will have to be put to rest… at least until there’s concrete evidence!
Is It Possible That an Advanced Civilization Lived Before Humans?
The Silurians, a technologically advanced civilization of humanoid reptiles that predated humans and went into hiding before being rediscovered by everyone’s favorite time-traveling extraterrestrial in his phone box, are mentioned in Doctor Who. Science has yet to find evidence of them. However, two researchers from the University of Cambridge gave the imaginary species its paper title in 2018. It was titled “The Silurian Hypothesis: Would it Be Feasible to Discover an Industrial Society in the Geological Record?”
Geological Fingerprints of an Advanced Civilization?
The article didn’t make the case that a technologically advanced civilization existed before humans but instead posed the intriguing hypothetical question of whether it would be possible to discover “geological fingerprints” of a long-gone civilization that vanished millions of years ago.
In the paper, one of the key questions was assessing how frequently an industrial civilization could evolve (provided that life has arisen and that some species are intelligent), which is one of the key questions in determining the possibility of discovering such a civilization.
More About the Paper
The only known example is that of humans, and our industrial civilization has only existed for about 300 years (since, for example, the beginning of mass production methods). This is a very small portion of the period that our species has existed and of the time that sophisticated life has existed on the land surface of the Earth.
In addition to being an intriguing concept, attempting to find an answer may aid in our hunt for evidence of an advanced civilization on extrasolar worlds. According to the research, humans have altered the Earth’s climate and ecosystems, leaving noticeable scars on the globe that will undoubtedly stay for many years. That doesn’t imply that these changes will be obvious after a few million years, though. In actuality, the record we leave may only be a few millimeters thick — for instance, in the sediment. Even if we live considerably longer than our current age, this might remain the case.