The berries suggest life on Mars.
As soon as small spheres were observed on Mars, the name “berries” has occurred naturally to everyone. At least for the particular colony of Martian berries, a case can be made that it is not merely a matter of superficial resemblance.
The colony has been photographed on Mars by the Opportunity PANCAM on Sol 139. The colony covers about 20 square meters or so.
The two pictures below represent an overview of patches, for which PANCAM stereo data are available . Distance between the red markers is about 1 meter.
Below are some samples of the colony population:
The color is an approximation, based on the color filter originals .
The berries of interest reside in general upon the surface of horizontal Martian rock. They are almost perfect spheres, sufficiently similar in color and size.
The colony members appear to be of similar origin and history, having been brought about by the sufficiently similar processes.
The berries are connected to the rocks, although the connection segment geometry varies substantially. Some connection segments are not visible in the image at all, some look like a tail behind the berry, some look like a double tail, some look like massive growth or a thin stalk with berry in the air at end of it.
Figure 4 & 5
Above pictured are red-cyan anaglyph and a stereo pair of two berries , from 1P140530030EFF3182P2379L7M1, 1P140530030EFF3182P2379R1M1.
We suggest that the processes, that have created this berry colony, have been biological in nature. A little of the detective work of elimination of impossible is in order, to prove it.
Weathering and sandblasting would rather destroy a stalked berry than create it. In the incredibly rare cases that it would be created by weathering and sandblasting, (a) the lifespan of such an object would be short, considering the level of weathering of Mars surface, and since its creation would depend on active erosion, capable of subsequently destroying it; (b) having a pair of such similar objects side by side, created by the weathering and sandblasting, defies the probability.
The geology could not have created the stalked berries either: (a) we do not observe similar geological of water originated objects on Earth; (b) even if a stalked berry were created like diamonds from magma, there is no way it could reach surface, and then be exposed by erosion, without stalk being destroyed in the process; (c) the symmetry of the berries with a bent stalk is different from the wind, gravity, air, water and the water flow symmetry; (d) the berry and its stalk could not have been created simultaneously, as the symmetry of the berry and of the stalk are totally different; (e) creation of the berries exclusively on the end of previously formed stalk, is the most unlikely scenario, and it would not explain the downward gravity bent of the stalk - without assumption of its flexibility which is unheard of in the mineral world; (f) growing stalk with a gravity bent, under the existing berry, is by far too complex without genetic program.
It is the most unlikely either, that the stalked berries are artificial objects: (a) they are not easy to make artificially; (b) usefulness of such an artificial object is questionable; (c) they are not the ones most likely to survive, so one would expect that a greater number of the better surviving, similar in size artificial objects would be observed on Mars, which manifestly is not the case.
At this point we must agree with words of Henry David Thoreau, “some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”
The biological creation remains, as the only logically possible explanation of existence of the presented berry colony on Mars.
However, to be fully convinced that what we have is the true explanation of facts, a thorough follow up is necessary – a follow up on the different levels and in different directions. Presence of life on Mars, apparently detected by the visual image analysis , must be confirmed eventually in detail by the internal and microscopic observations, and in breadth by the discovery of variety of different kinds of life produced objects. Which at this time still lies ahead of us.
As always, deep gratitude goes to NASA for making this work and much more possible, by taking the magnificent pictures of Mars surface, and generously providing full public access to them.
1. NASA image gallery, http://origin.mars5.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all
2. Zeltsman, A. (2005) Visual Detection of life on Mars? Marsbugs 12, n20, 2-3
3. Isenberg, H. (2004-2005) PanCam true color images from Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers,