There’s a Pac-Man-shaped crater on Mars


  • NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) took an image on the surface of Mars that looks a lot like the Pac-Man.
  • The shape is inside an impact crate with a barchan sand dune.
  • HiRise team speculates it’s because of sand filling up the upwind portion of the crater.

This isn’t the first time images from the surface of Mars have resembled icons familiar to humans. This time, it is Pac-Man from the good-old arcade days.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) took the surprising picture but it was the University of Arizona’s HiRise team were the first ones to spot it.
Pac-Man Crater

In the image, the Pac-Man shape is formed inside an impact crater encompassing a triangular barchan sand dune, leading the negative space to look like the pellet-gobbling character. Apparently such barchans aren’t uncommon. Although, the HiRise team has admitted that it’s a ‘rare configuration'.

But they also speculated that it will disappear over the next tens of thousands of years as sand continue to fall out of the crater. It’s only because the sand is filling the upwind portion of the crater that the Pac-Man-like shape has formed.

After having spotted Jabba the Hutt in a rock-formation on the planet, cannonball resembling pebbles, and fish-shaped rocks, finding Pac-Man only seems to fit the pattern. If Elon Musk’s plan to build a colony on Mars pans out, we already have some of the first landmarks that can launch the tourism industry.
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