I ran my own blog from November 2006 till October 2014. All posts are still online, but I don't have time to update it anymore. Please note that all images and media files have been removed when the backup was moved to a new host in early 2016. Enjoy!

Astonishing Optical Illusion: Badlands Guardian, the

26. november 2007

A few days ago I wrote a blog post about the so called "Face on Mars" on the Galaxikiwebsite - photos originally taken by the Viking orbiters in 1976 showed a strange formation that looked like a humanoid Face. Some believed it to be evidence of a long-lost Martian civilization, but photos taken by the Mars Global Surveyor in 2001 finally revealed that it was nothing but an optical illusion.

Similar optical illusions can be found in the geology of Earth; an example is the Badlands Guardian, which resembles a human head wearing a Native American headress. Visible only from the air, this feature looks remarkably like a human head wearing a full native American headdress, but the head is in fact a drainage feature created by wind & water erosion on the soft clay rich soil. It was first discovered by Lynn Hickox on Google Maps.

It also appears to be wearing iPod-style earphones, and one may wonder why Apple didn't use this in a commercial yet. A closer look on Google Maps reveals that the apparent earphone cable is in fact nothing but a road which seems to end up in an oil well.

View the Badlands Guardian on Google Maps