March 16th, 2009 16:19 EST
Virgin Mary Of Mars! Who Was She?
Snapped at the rock-strewn Gusev Crater, believed by scientists to be the bed of an ancient lake, the grainy picture appears to show a Bigfoot-style alien creature strolling casually down a hill.
Its bulbous head " is cocked to one side, as if in concentration, while its right arm " appears to be reaching out for balance.
Scientists believe that if Mars DID once have surface water, it had the potential to support life.
And some say this could be the crucial evidence of inhabitants that they were seeking when they launched their Â£400million mission in 2003.
The creature " was spotted when space enthusiasts analysed photos beamed 100million miles to Earth by Spirit and its twin explorer Opportunity.
Of course, hard-nosed realists may claim the Martian " is simply a trick of the light and shadow on a dust-covered outcrop.
But whatever it shows, the mind-boggling image will set people guessing from Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads.
It`s a genuine space oddity.
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