NASA has released an amusing new photo of some avocado-lookalike rocks, taken by its Mars rover Perseverance.
Snapped on September 8, the photo features a pair of rocks resembling an avocado split in half – although frankly, it looks a little crunchy for most people’s tastes. In the background of the picture sits the half with a “pit” and the flesh removed, and in the foreground, the other half lying upside down with a texture mimicking avocado peel.
Perseverance is currently searching Mars’ Jezero Crater for signs of ancient life on the planet, collecting soil and rock samples that could be returned to Earth. The rover features a multitude of cameras, two of which make up its Mastcam-Z camera, which captured the photo of the avocado rocks.
It’s not the first time Perseverance has snapped a familiar-looking object on Mars either. Earlier this year, the rover snapped a picture of a doughnut-shaped rock, of a size that would make a Martian Homer Simpson more than satisfied.
Back in 2022, Perseverance appeared to have captured the first image of a “cat” on Mars. Continuing on the animal theme, it’s also spotted a rocky outcrop that looks like a shark fin and giant crab claw, although that’s unlikely evidence of an epic oceanic battle in the ancient waters of Mars.
Instead, the wealth of familiar-looking images can be explained by pareidolia, a phenomenon in which the human brain sees familiar patterns in objects.
Bad news for anybody hoping to have an avocado-themed brunch on the Red Planet.