Mars is a hotbed of odd things and shapes that have gotten the attention not only of scientists from space agencies like NASA but also from individuals like alien theorists and UFOlogists.

For years, the general public interested in NASA’s Mars exploration program has gotten their fair share of fantastic images that gave a glimpse of what a place outside of Earth could look like. Aside from these, space enthusiasts also encountered some unique conspiracy theories from UFOlogists such as Scott Waring who now runs the blog, and before that, UFO Sightings Daily.

One of his most controversial “findings” is what looked like Big Foot sitting on one of the boulders of Mars. The photo, taken by the Mars Spirit rover back in November 2007, showed what looks like the mythological creature resting on one of the large rocks on the Red Planet. Waring described his discoveries to cause “widespread excitement over the possibilities of life existing on Mars,” and even encouraged his readers to feel free and share what he found.

However, the Planetary Society was quick to point out that Big Foot on Mars was nothing less than a perfect example of an optical illusion of images found on the Red Planet. According to Emily Lakdawalla, a member of Planetary Society, she acknowledges that anyone who will see the photo would definitely see the figure as humanoid but regards that it is nothing more than an example of pareidolia. This was described as, “the human propensity to see patterns in random shapes.”

In the case of Waring’s Big Foot, Lakdawalla pointed out that the figure is actually not big but tiny. “It's a crying shame to show that tiny little closeup without also showing the whole panorama from which it came. I cropped the closeup from the Pancam team's version of the panorama, which you can download in full resolution from the JPL Photojournal, but I'd prefer to post James Canvin's beautiful version of the view from Home Plate,” she said.

“It's hard to spot Bigfoot in this image because I can only post it in half-resolution on this website; you really need to download the full-resolution image to find him. But don't let your desire to find Bigfoot blind you to the Martian scenery,” she continued.

Details of Layers in Victoria Crater's Cape St. Vincent NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University