This is a quick story, but one that’s weird enough to warrant a few minutes of laughter before Ancient Aliens returns this evening to educate us about how aliens stage-managed the Civil War as part of their master plan for America. Last month, some in the UFO community began to claim that ancient astronauts carved a profile of the Roman god Mercury into the surface of the planet Mars. Scott Waring of the pareidolia-infused UFO Sightings Daily blog posted a NASA Mars Global Surveyor image later picked up by the content-recycling Inquisitr website that he believes shows Mercury carved into the Martian surface.
What we are looking at here is quite complex. Its [sic] the head and shoulders of Mercury made from linked structures. The structures have a gold color to them. This reminded me a lot of the old Mercury dimes I collected when I was a kid. The winged head is what really gave this Mars formation away.
Waring posted a comparison between the Martian image and the Mercury dime.
It should probably be obvious to anyone other than Waring that we are looking at a natural formation that only roughly resembles an image from American currency. There are no indications of artificiality, despite Waring’s assertion that the formation is composed of connected structures. Personally, I see a cameo of a young Queen Victoria, but that’s just me.
But what’s especially funny is that neither Waring nor the Inquisitr writer who recycled him is aware that the “Mercury” dime is a misnomer. The figure depicted on the coin isn’t Mercury, and it isn’t even a man. The head wears the distinctive Phrygian cap of Liberty, and the woman wearing that hat and representing the goddess Liberty is believed to be modeled on Elsie Stevens, the wife of poet Wallace Stevens, whom sculptor Adolph Weinman had used as his model for an earlier bust. The Martians, though, must have had incredible foresight, not just to know that Elsie Stevens would be born thousands of years later but that U.S. Mint officials would have misread the 1890 act that restricted changes in coinage to no more than once per quarter century as requiring a change in design, prompting the creation of the Mercury dime in 1916.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.