Pyramids of Mars is an excellent Doctor Who serial starring Tom Baker... ah, are we not talking about that? No, of course not! That would be pleasant. Yet again we are talking about aliens building pyramids and this time, it's on another planet. The claim comes from a picture taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) over a decade ago, but it is being thrown around once again.
“I found a giant three-sided pyramid on Mars in a Gigapan photo today. The pyramid has one smooth side, which is probably the original outer coating that was made for it, but the other two sides have severely eroded,” alien hunter Scott C Waring said, according to the Daily Express. “The mystery of pyramids have lead to speculation that they were created by extra terrestrials that were trying to settle in an area and follow their cultural beliefs.”
First things first, the idea that aliens have been building these pyramids around the world is pretty darn racist. You don’t see people claiming the Colosseum, St Peter's Basilica, or the Empire State Building were made by aliens. And please do not claim that we know how those were built while the pyramids remain a mystery. We have the literal diary of one of the Egyptian officials involved in the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza explaining how it was built. Stop peddling bullshit and be better.
Now let's look at the claim that there is a giant pyramid on Mars. The image discovered on the Gigapan website was taken by the HiRISE camera, part of the MRO's suite of instruments. The image has a scale range of 26 centimeters per pixel, so it is roughly 40 by 30 meters (131 by 98 feet). Smaller than the smallest pyramid in Giza.
But it is not just the “size” claim that is nonsense. If you were to look up the original image you’d realize the "pyramid" is located in the Candor Chasma region, one of the largest canyons in the Valles Marineris, which is in itself the second longest and deepest canyon system in the whole Solar System. The sharp edges and erosion match what we see in the rest of the area.
So the questions are: was it built underwater? Or was it built later and the edges and rocks were made to match the rest of the canyon? Or maybe, just maybe, it is a natural formation. Mars is full of stunning and incredible features and you don’t need to believe they were made by aliens to appreciate them.