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Life On Mars? That’s Rhawn Joseph’s Theory, And He Wants NASA To Investigate That Rock

Last month, the Mars rover Opportunity snapped a puzzling photo of a fist-sized stone that was not present in the same spot only days earlier. Naming the curiosity Pinnacle Island, NASA claims this rock was either thrown here from a far off impact, or picked up and dropped here by the rover, unbeknownst to scientists. Fortunately for us, self-described astrobiologist Rhawn Joseph is here to dispel these ridiculous theories.

Plain and simple, says Joseph: Pinnacle Island is life. More specifically, Joseph feels that what the NASA “experts” are calling a rock is actually a “mushroom-like fungus, a composite organism consisting of colonies of lichen and cyanobacteria, and which on Earth is known as Apothecium.” Still willing to go through the pesky formalities of scientific certification, Joseph has filed a petition in U.S. District Court for a writ of mandamus to compel NASA to conduct further investigations “on what is a putative biological organism which was identified (and thus discovered) by Petitioner.”


An apothecium, the fungal structure that Joseph claims the Martian “life form” is taking. (George Shepherd)

The petition continues its unforgiving tone when it asserts that “(a)ny intelligent adult, adolescent, child, chimpanzee, monkey, dog, or rodent with even a modicum of curiosity, would approach, investigate and closely examine a bowl-shaped structure which appears just a few feet in front of them when 12 days earlier they hadn’t noticed it. But not NASA and its rover team who have refused to take even a single close-up photo.” Though I remain on the fence, my dog and pet gerbil (both very curious) have announced that they are officially sold on this theory.


Pinnacle Fungus.  (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.)

In light of this news, what’s the one theory you’ve always wanted to claim as inarguable fact, but never had the courage to do so until you saw this one? Check out Discovery’s 10 Weirdest Mars Illusions and Pareidolia for inspiration and tell us what you come up with below!

PS: I have a pretty compelling theory that “Rhawn” is supposed to be spelled “Ron”.

Sources:, Discovery, Popular Science

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  1. JetpackBlues says:

    WTF NASA?! Make with the science on that shit!

  2. editor-b says:

    Then, perhaps, is there fossils or life elsewhere? But, isn’t the emergence and maintenance of life a process of radical contingency? That is, is a unique and unrepeatable past totally necessary? Or does life emerge through space like mushrooms when some conditions are present? So, how many conditions are necessary: three, four, trillions, infinite? Only one, water or any sort of God? Is God the word that means infinite conditions, absolute necessity? Anyway, how did the life that emerge in a given conditions resist when switching to a different moment? How does life resist time itself, the effects of entropy? But, is it possible for human beings to recognise a simpler life than their own brain only? On the other hand, beyond likeness, is it possible to recognise a complex life than their brain, is this the extra-terrestrial life that some people are searching unsuccessfully? However, is there an origin of life or would it be as finding a cut in the material history of the universe, an infinite void that human language patches now? Along these lines, there is a peculiar book, a short preview in Just another suggestion in order to free-think for a while

  3. Greg says:

    If it’s just a rock then how did it appear out of nowhere and why is it in the same shape as the indentation in the before picture? Obviously it had to grow there. The only question is whether it is some sort of inorganic crystal or if it is some kind of Martian fungus.

  4. Anthony says:

    No need to go investigating this. Its obviously a martian modulator!