NASA has reportedly denied the existence of “insect- and reptile-like creatures” living on Mars, according to Fox News.
NASA’s denial was made in response to claims by Ohio University professor and entomologist William Romoser, who recently proposed the idea that many images taken from the Martian surface feature “insect-like and reptile-like forms…appearing to verify that life exists on Mars.”
His findings were presented at the Entomological Society of America in St. Louis, Missouri on November 19, 2019.
The original page featuring Romoser’s claims, published that same day on the Ohio University website, was ultimately removed. But you know the old saying: The Internet never forgets.
The page included images taken by Mars rovers, with outlines showing possible insect body parts.
“Numerous photos show images where arthropod body segments, along with legs, antennae and wings, can be picked out from the surrounding area, and one even appears to show one of the insects in a steep dive before pulling up just before hitting the ground.”
Romoser also claimed that the alleged creatures “loosely resemble bumble bees or carpenter bees on Earth,” complete with shelters and nests in caves. There was also mention of a “fossilized creature” that looked like a snake.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard claims of reptiles and other animals on Mars, sparked by the appearance of oddly shaped rocks and other forms on the planet’s surface. You may remember that one time someone spotted a squirrel there (on second thought, it looks a bit more like a gopher, but I’m not a Martian lifeform expert).
To such claims, NASA has always given a resounding “No,” their most recent statement being that “current conditions on the surface of Mars are not suitable for liquid water or complex life.” Most other experts agree.
However, on the other hand, entomologist Susan Finkbeiner sent an email to Fox News saying that, while she’s skeptical, in some cases it could be possible that what Romoser and others are seeing are indeed fossils of life that once did exist on Mars.