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Ruins of an Ancient Martian Civilization?

The idea that Mars was once the home of an ancient civilization is, of course, far more controversial than the contention that there are trees growing there. NASA and most mainstream scientists won't even consider the notion with any degree of seriousness.

Yet there are many very interesting photos that show structures that do not look natural and have led some open-minded researchers to raise the possibility that they might be artificial - that is, created by intelligent beings.

Click for enlargement.

One of the most fascinating images, pictured at right, shows a ribbed tube or tunnel-like structure. Partially covered by the surface terrain, the structure looks as through it has been unearthed (unmarsed?) by some geologic process. The structure resembles the so-called "glass worms" discovered in other photos, although this one lacks the "transparent" or "translucent" quality of the worms.

The official NASA stance on these structures is that they are quite natural and are, in fact, "dune trains" - rows of sand dunes. The article "Is This an Artificial Construct on Mars" compares this photo with another photo of actual Martian dune trains. They don't look anything alike. While the photo of "actual" dunes indeed look like sand dunes, this enigmatic structure does not.

Click for enlargement.

One of the most intriguing photos to recently come to light is the so-called "port," (see photo at right) which has been examined in some detail at "Mars Unearthed".

This highly geometric structure, appearing on a Martian cliffside, looks like an artificially constructed two-story building of some unknown purpose. In the opinion of the article, "the first floor walls of [the port] are facing camera and in shadow. The second floor is a well-defined square and is turned at a precise 45-degree angle to the first floor. Centered in the midst of the roof of that squared second floor is an abrupt, sharp circle... a 'landing pad' as for helicopters atop tall buildings and on decks of ships."

Near this structure, the article continues, is a large, open, U-shaped culvert or conduit out of which is flowing a great deal of liquid.

Still another anomaly examined by Mars Unearthed is "The Tower," which seems to show a tall tower or stack with a white tip casting a long shadow. If it is indeed a tower of some kind, it stands at an incredible 6.3 kilometers high - 12 times taller than the largest skyscraper on Earth.

Could these "structures" be optical illusions of natural geological formations? Of course. But to dismiss them outright as not possibly being artificial in origin is just as unscientific as declaring that they absolutely are created by intelligent beings. The suggestion that they are artificial is such a large claim, however, that these images should be examined carefully and with skepticism - but with an open mind. These images of seemingly artificial structures could dissolve into natural formations with more detailed, higher resolution photographs - just as, by most examinations, the so-called "Face on Mars" has resolved into a large mesa.

More missions are planned by NASA to photograph and explore the surface of Mars, but it may not be until a manned mission is sent to the Red Planet that some of Mars's most fascinating puzzles are finally and conclusively solved.

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