Mars Mystery: what is that metallic hook sticking from the rock?

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Universe Today reports

The Curiosity Mars rover has found some strange-looking little things on Mars – you’ve likely heard of the Mars ‘flower,’ the piece of benign plastic from the rover itself, and other bright flecks of granules in the Martian soil.

Now the rover has imaged a small metallic-looking protuberance on a rock.  

Visible in the image above, the protuberance appears to have a high albedo and even projects a shadow on the rock below.

The image was taken with the right Mastcam on Curiosity on Sol 173 — January 30, 2013 here on Earth, and was pointed out to us by Elisabetta Bonora, an image editing enthusiast from Italy.

One thing is for sure: this will be grist for the mill for the conspiracy loons.

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The Huffington Post adds

Whatever it is looks shiny, casts a shadow on the rock below and looks different to the rock it emerges from.

Universe Today speculates that it might be a different type of rock more resistant to erosion. Gizmodo instead wonders aloud whether it’s evidence of an alien death ship.

There you go.  Jokes or not, the fun has started.

Still, that’s why Curiosity is there – to look around.

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Sources:  Huffington Post, Universe Today

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