Watch out: A European Space Agency (ESA) space orbiter recently spotted a “hairy blue spider” on Mars, and its massive, “eight-legged frame” appears to be sprawled across the Red Planet.
The strange sight, which was taken by the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter’s Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS), shows the Terra Sabaea region of Mars, according to an ESA press release.
But, this isn’t a real arthropod: It’s an eerie pattern that lies on the crest of one of Mars’ ridges, and might be a result of some dust devil activity, which involves the convergence of hundreds (or possibly thousands) of tiny martian tornadoes.
To bring the space orbiter’s observations to life, the ESA showed a color-composite representation, where features that are bluer compared to Mars’ typical hue are depicted in bright blue colors.
On Mars, dust devils swirl the Red Planet’s surface material and expose fresher material below.