If you've never heard of Pareidolia -- the psychological phenomenon of seeing faces in inanimate objects -- you're about to get a hefty dose of the effect. NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity, snapped almost 900 images from its mast-mounted cameras, which were knit together to create a billion-pixel picture. Since you can pan and zoom around the image, we couldn't resist the urge to find some faces (and other amazing shapes) to get the rocks rolling.
First up: Forget Jesus in a piece of toast: This rock formation appears to be the head of Moses.
Speaking of bearded men, clearly, Santa Claus lives on Mars! The zoomable panorama, at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/targetFamily/Mars, lets users cruise around the Red Planet and find what they will, even if it's a holiday saint.
A character from Super Mario can clearly be seen surfing across the surface of the Red Planet. Armchair explorers can choose from natural color, enhanced color or black and white versions of Mars.
This Martian rock formation looks remarkably like an angry dragon. To find these faces didn't take long with a back-and-forth scanning technique, using the controls on the JPL site. Try it yourself and tweet us the images @Discovery_Space. We'll add them to the gallery.
Smiling evil faces on Mars: They don't tell the truth. The truth being, of course, that all of these faces are just rocks. The human brain is wired to see order in chaos -- and especially face shapes. One of the most famous instances of Pareidolia was the Face on Mars.
Dragons, skulls and witches -- oh my, it must be Halloween up there! The panorama is 1.3 billion pixels, so there is plenty of opportunity to zoom into other crazy rock formations.
The spooky face's best friend, tortured soul, lies not far away on the Martian surface.
A wounded bird? It couldn't be. Not on Mars. But this formation looks just like a felled, large bird.
Although there are no frogs living on Mars, these rocks look like a large frog was squashed by a falling pillar. Frogville's demise?
This smooth path could fool you into thinking there are highways on Mars. What else can you find in the panorama? Tweet whatever it is that catches your eye to @Discovery_Space, or post to our Facebook page or our Tumblr at discoverynews.tumblr.com/. We'll add them to this gallery!