At last, NASA's scientists have revealed the mystery of the mysterious rock that materialized out of nowhere right in front of the Mars Curiosity rover—the infamous jelly doughnut rock rock that surprised everyone at mission control, prompting NASA Mars Exploration Rover lead scientist Steve Squyres to exclaim "wait a second, that wasn't there before, it can't be right. Oh my god! It wasn't there before!"
But it was right. And yes, it wasn't there before. One day it wasn't there and four days later it magically appeared right in front of its cameras. The event fired up speculation all over the internet, with the usual conspiranoics claiming it was aliens and one even suing the Federal Government demanding a "complete investigation" (as if that weren't NASA's job in the first place.)
Now Squyres and his team claim that the rock mystery has been solved at last:
Researchers have determined the now-infamous Martian rock resembling a jelly doughnut, dubbed Pinnacle Island, is a piece of a larger rock broken and moved by the wheel of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in early January.
Only about 1.5 inches wide (4 centimeters), the white-rimmed, red-centered rock caused a stir last month when it appeared in an image the rover took Jan. 8 at a location where it was not present four days earlier.
According to Opportunity Deputy Principal Investigator Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis, "once we moved Opportunity a short distance, after inspecting Pinnacle Island, we could see directly uphill an overturned rock that has the same unusual appearance. We drove over it. We can see the track. That's where Pinnacle Island came from."
Here's an image of the original rock smashed by Curiosity:
Of course, this may all be a ruse. You know, to cover up the