Rumor: Creature with tail seen in NASA photo from Mars

Is it a rat, or a lizard … or a rock? A blogger suggests that a photo from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover shows a creature with a tail.

FALSE

No, NASA hasn't found life on Mars, agency spokesman says.

Rumors are swirling around a blogger's claim that a photo taken by NASA's Curiosity rover shows life on Mars — specifically, a lizard, rodent or some sort of creature with a tail. As FoxNews.com put it: "Is that a rat on Mars?"

The website UFO Sightings Daily set off the speculation with its images.

"This odd creature was discovered on Mars by a person in Japan in March,” writes Scott C. Waring in a blog post accompanying the images on UFO Sightings Daily. "This animal was not the first to be discovered in NASA photos but is in a long line of strange creatures."

Waring even goes as far to ask, "Is NASA placing animals from tiny cryogenic chambers inside the rover onto the surface of Mars to conduct tests?"

Video-photo montage of the 'creature'

Speculation

"Although the images posted on UFO Sightings Daily depict something that appears to have legs and a tail, in the original NASA photo, the rat/lizard looks more like a rock," concludes a San Francisco Chronicle article. DigitalJournal.com agrees: "The 'lizard' looks like a rock lying lifeless on the ground." The Daily Mail credits the "sharp-eyed UFO fan" with "an excitable imagination."

Related: Mars had right ingredients for life

But a post at Examiner.com asks: "Why is NASA silent?"

"As the anomalies pile up, we see more and more photographic evidence of what clearly appears to be life on Mars," it continues, "yet NASA continues to remain silent or obfuscates the obvious." 

What NASA says

But NASA says no, it's not a creature.

"Rocks come in lots of interesting shapes," Guy Webster, a NASA spokesman who handles Mars-related questions, told MSN News. His agency makes raw images from Mars available to the public, and he says, "It's great that people are enjoying looking at them and arguing about them. It's bringing people along on the mission as much as possible."

But he says no, life still hasn't been found on Mars.

"If there were any sign of life on Mars, we would make that news available quickly," Webster assures.

UPDATE: Mars ‘rat’ will not be investigated by NASA, the Inquistr, Christian Science Monitor and Fox News reported on June 6.

It’s just a rock, a NASA scientist assured Fox.

It’s no more real than the Man in the Moon. In fact, the rat likely comes from the same source as that lunar visage: the human brain,” Los Angeles Times explained. People sometimes see animals and faces on what actually are inanimate objects. And so it goes. As the Monitor put it, “Mars rover Curiosity is readying to begin the next part of its journey, leaving behind its rat-shaped rock friend.”

Latest news about 'creature' in NASA photo


——

MSN NEWS & RUMORS

MSN News seeks to give up-to-date information on rumors related to current events, people or even topics/issues of interest. We’ll tell you what we can confirm from the rumor mill — and what we can’t. If we can’t confirm a rumor, we’ll share what we do know about it.

If you have a rumor you’d like to submit for review, email: msnnewsrumors@microsoft.com