by Stephen Johnson
Entomologist William Romoser gave a presentation
this week in which he claimed NASA photos show
evidence of creatures, some still living, on the red
Romoser has worked as a professor of entomology at
Ohio University for four decades.
It's likely that the real phenomenon in Romoser's
work is pareidolia - the tendency to "see"
recognizable shapes among random visual data.
Entomologist William Romoser of Ohio University
says NASA images
reptile-like creatures on Mars.
Photos captured by NASA's Mars rovers reveal the greatest scientific
discovery of all time:
proof of alien
Or, you know, proof of
alien rocks. You be the judge.
William Romoser gave a poster presentation on
Tuesday, November 19, at the national meeting of the
Entomological Society of America in St. Louis, Missouri.
He claimed that his
analysis of NASA images demonstrates convincing evidence that
exists on Mars, including insect- and reptile-like
creatures, some of which still live there today.
"There has been and
still is life on Mars," Romoser
"There is apparent
diversity among the Martian insect-like fauna which display many
features similar to Terran insects that are interpreted as
advanced groups - for example, the presence of wings, wing
flexion, agile gliding/flight, and variously structured leg
"Once a clear image of a given form was identified and
described, it was useful in facilitating recognition of other
less clear, but none-the-less valid, images of the same basic
To analyze the photos,
Romoser played with factors like saturation, brightness and
contrast, but he didn't add or remove any content from the photos,
according to a
press release from Ohio University.
"An exoskeleton and jointed appendages are sufficient to
establish identification as an arthropod.
Three body regions, a
single pair of antennae, and six legs are traditionally
sufficient to establish identification as 'insect' on Earth.
should likewise be valid to identify an organism on Mars as
On these bases,
arthropodan, insect-like forms can be seen in the Mars rover
William Romoser/Ohio University
Romoser said some of the creatures he saw in the images resemble
carpenter bees and snakes. It's a bold (and probably false) claim.
It's also not the first time Romoser has reported "evidence" of life
In 2017 and 2018, he
published two reports describing,
phenomena" on the red planet:
As Amanda Kooser
wrote for CNET, the more likely phenomenon driving Romoser's
pareidolia, which is our
tendency to "see" recognizable shapes in just about anything, from
pancakes, to the flames of the Notre Dame fire, to photos from the
Back on Earth, Romoser has spent 45 years as an entomology professor
at Ohio University, where he co-founded the Tropical Disease
He also worked as a
researcher for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of
Infectious Diseases, and has authored and co-authored four
editions of the widely-used textbook, "The
Science of Entomology."
At the very least, Romoser said this week, his findings suggest
scientists should keep looking for life on Mars.
"The evidence of life
on Mars presented here provides a strong basis for many
additional important biological as well as social and political
questions," he added.
"It also represents a
solid justification for further study."
Next year, the
rover plans to do just that, only its main focus will be searching
for past microbial life.