Floating Spoon Spotted On Mars?

Of all the strange things people think they’ve seen in images of Mars — from crab monsters to pyramids — this might be the oddest one yet: a spoon that appears to be hovering just above the surface of the Red Planet.

Here’s the “spoon,” seen in a NASA image taken by the Curiosity rover’s Mastcam on Aug. 30 (the circle has been added for emphasis; the raw image is available here):

But though it certainly looks spoon-like, it is, of course, not a spoon. It’s not actually floating, either, for that matter.

NASA says the unique — and very familiar — form is likely a ventifact, or a rock that’s been shaped by wind. (The space agency has a presentation explaining how ventifacts are formed, along with some examples of them here on Earth as well as on Mars.)

But at least one person on Twitter has another explanation for the Martian utensil:

I left that spoon there in 1968 #AlienAbduction https://t.co/cF08aYJiO4

— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) September 3, 2015

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