TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Viewers were left scratching their heads after NASA shared an image of what some say looks like a bear’s face imprinted on the surface of Mars.

The image, taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, shows a sliver of the Martian planet featuring what appears to be a crude outline of a bear’s face.


“What is it really?” the space agency teased in a social media post.

Scientists say a V-shaped hill structure likely collapsed on itself forming the bear’s nose. Two impact craters formed the eyes, and the circular fracture pattern that defines the bear’s head “might be due to the settling of a deposit over a buried impact crater.”


Experts wondered whether the nose was formed by a volcanic or mud vent and if its deposit could be lava or mud flows.

“Maybe just grin and bear it,” the post added.

The orbiter blasted off from Cape Canaveral in 2005 in search of evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars. Scientists now know that water flowed across the surface in Mars’ history, however, it remains a mystery whether water was ever around long enough to provide a habitat for life.