By Tariq Malik, Space.com Managing Editor, Sept 6, 2015 – A so-called “floating spoon” on Mars spotted by NASA’s Curiosity rover is cooking up a storm on the Internet, but it’s actually a cool rock formation sculpted over time by the Martian winds, officials with the space agency say.
The uncannily spoon-shaped rock was photographed by Curiosity on Sunday (Aug. 30) during the rover’s 1,089th day on Mars, and word of the rock spread online in the days that followed. In the Curiosity photo, a handle shape juts out from an outcrop and ends in a rounded tip much like a spoon. It even casts its own spoon-shaped shadow on the ground below.
But alas, per NASA, the “spoon” is not some leftover debris from a Martian campsite or kitchen. Like other “sightings” on Mars, it’s a strangely shaped rock. [Photos of the Face on Mars and Other Optical Illusions]