Spiders on Mars? Experts reveal truth about bizarre photos captured by spacecraft

The recent photos revealed by the European Space Agency have stirred the internet. At first glance, it appears that the pictures captured by a Mars orbiter show clusters of spiders on the Martian surface. However, that’s not the truth. In a statement released Wednesday, ESA explained the bizarre pattern, as seen in the data gathered by February 27, shows a phenomenon caused by periodical eruptions of carbon dioxide gas.

The latest photos captured by ESA’s Mars orbiter show bizarre spider-like formations(ESA)

ESA explains the truth behind bizarre spider-like pattern

“Rather than being actual spiders, these small, dark features form when spring sunshine falls on layers of carbon dioxide deposited over the dark winter months,” ESA explained, adding, “The sunlight causes carbon dioxide ice at the bottom of the layer to turn into gas, which subsequently builds up and breaks through slabs of overlying ice. The gas bursts free in martian springtime, dragging dark material up to the surface as it goes and shattering layers of ice up to a metre thick.”

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The statement goes on to add, “The emerging gas, laden with dark dust, shoots up through cracks in the ice in the form of tall fountains or geysers, before falling back down and settling on the surface. This creates dark spots of between 45 m and 1 km across. This same process creates characteristic ‘spider-shaped’ patterns etched beneath the ice – and so these dark spots are a telltale sign that spiders may be lurking below.”

One of the ESA’s Mars explorers- the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), has captured images of the spider-like patterns on Mars in great detail. TGO has spotted these spiders in a location near the region shown in the new Mars Express image, which further reveals the dark spots on the surface created by the release of gas and material. It also shows the spider-web-like channels that are carved into the ice below, the statement adds.

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