• MAA-031: Door Bolt

- Image Analysis Report

Image Analysis Report


MAA Report Ref: MAA-031

Report date: July-August 2017

Research Status: Open - Possible mechanical artefact

Description: Door Bolt
Approximate size: 5cm
Mission: Curiosity Rover
Location: Gale Crater

Found by: Michael Ivey

Image date: Sol 440, Nov 2013
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Graphics/image editing: Mars Archaeology Archive

Image source: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/00440/mcam/0440MR1795005000E2_DXXX.jpg


This one still challenges my credulity (and sanity!). In fact it may be a perfect example of how our visual senses can be completely fooled by a very convincing optical illusion. But then again, what if...


This very small rectangular "object" is sat in a recess, parallel to the rock - as if it had been carved out to accommodate it even. It has a completely different texture to the rock next to it and appears to have a raised tubular section running through the centre. Very baffling, but the likeness to a "door bolt" is striking.


An optical illusion caused by the limits of the image resolution. Perhaps a depression in the soil has contributed and the angular shape of the large rock next to it has attracted a build up of material. Opinions most welcome!

MAA-031.1 Door Bolt - Curiosity Rover, Sol 440 Nov 2013

​Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Graphics/image editing: Mars Archaeology Archive

MAA-031.2 Door Bolt - Earth analogy