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The surface of Mars has given us many mysteries that over the years have turned the scientific community upside down. Many of these mysteries remain unresolved, but there are theories accepted by most of the community. The spiders of Mars are one of them. These strange formations found in the late 1990s are still an enigma for humanity today, and although there is an accepted theory, it lacks solid data to support it. What are the spiders of Mars?
The Mystery of the Formation of Mars Spiders
We are not referring to insects as such, but to insect formations on their surface that, with a simple look, appear to be formed by some species of extraterrestrial insect. The scientific community and humanity in general were perplexed when the first images came to light because there was no precedent on earth to prepare us for this and when it was certain that we had the knowledge necessary to clear up all the geological formations, we were knocked down from our pedestal.
Mars spiders were discovered in the late 1990s by images captured by the Mars Global Surveyor, then better evidence was obtained on missions such as Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Express or Mars Odyssey. The structures that are formed on the Martian surface are, moreover, enigmatic and there are several theories of their formation; the most accurate is the one that explains that during the Martian winter, a layer of carbon dioxide ice accumulates on the ground and when spring arrives, the Sun melts it from below, in the area that is in contact with the surface.
This creates small pockets of CO2 in the form of gas. When the upper ice sheet cracks or breaks, the gas is released with some soil particles, forming this curious shape.
A disproportionate interest in Mars?
Unlike what many people think, Mars is not the closest planet to Earth, nor is it the closest planet to Earth, so why is it attracting so much interest from the scientific community, and why has so much time and money been invested in its research and exploration?
Mars, at first, was not very different from other planets. When the first images were captured, there was nothing but a cold, arid terrain, but something caught their attention that led them to investigate much more, something we don’t know and, ignoring the wild theories and certain curiosities we have learned, we still don’t know why there is so much real interest in the red planet.