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Armchair Astronomer Finds 'Evidence' of Life on Mars

Bio Station Alpha

Is Bio Station a Martian base?YouTube

A California armchair astronomer claims a white, fuzzy image on the red planet's surface might be evidence of life -- and even NASA didn't immediately know what if anything he had found.

David Martines' YouTube video is heading for viral status after he uploaded a flyby of Google Earth's Mars explorer zooming in on a white, cylindrical object.

The object, according to Martines, is "about 700 feet long and 150 feet wide." He's calling it "Bio Station Alpha, because I'm just assuming that something lives in it or has lived in it."

His video was uploaded May 28, and has already been watched nearly 750,000 times.

A spokesman for NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab could not immediately identify the object, speculating that "Bio Station Alpha" was most likely a glitch in the digital imaging or an unusual feature on the surface of the planet -- and not a Martian base. 

Martines believed he knew what it was, however.

"It's very unusual in that it's quite large, it's over 700 feet long and 150 feet wide, it looks like it's a cylinder or made up of cylinders," he said in the video.

"It could be a powerstation or it could be a biological containment or it could be a glorified garage -- hope it's not a weapon.

"Whoever put it up there had a purpose I'm sure. I couldn't imagine what the purpose was. I couldn't imagine why anybody would want to live on Mars."

But who's responsible? Martines says it's unlikely to be NASA.

"I don't know if they could pull off such a project without all the people seeing all the material going up there," he said. "I sort of doubt NASA has anything to do with this. I don't know if NASA even knows about this."

Google's imagery comes from many different locations, a company spokeswoman said, and glitches and errors can be introduced in many ways. 

"Google Earth and its many features, such as Mars, is built from information that is available from a broad range of both commercial and public sources -- in this case, government space agencies," she said. 

"In a few instances, unique and peculiar features can appear in the imagery that is made available to us that could be a result of a number of things such as image processing errors or a random surface feature, just to name a few."

YouTube commenters were quite willing to offer their own perspective.

"You are looking at one of the cold poles of Mars. The poles have caps of dry ice. You see a long white object at low resolution -- which is clearly broken up into 3 sections towards the end. This mass is near the pole. Conclusion? Clearly an alien/man-made Mars station that is 700 ft long," wrote user nemethma.

"We have crashed several attempted probes onto Mars. It could be debris or some un-weathered rock structure uncovered by a crash," theorized user blayzebright.

Martines is seeking help finding a higher resolution image, if it exists.

He claims the coordinates of Bio Station Alpha are 71 49'19.73"N 29 33'06.53"W and that anyone who has downloaded the Google Earth software can see it.

Skeptics are lining up to shoot down Martines' theory, which has been likened to the infamous "Face on Mars" hysteria, which turned out to be an unusual angle of a rock formation.

The first of the Bio Station Mars parodies have also already hit YouTube, starting with Ski Station Beta.

 

News.com.au contributed to this report.