Written by Mango Murgatroyd

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Topics: Mars, Holiday

Thursday, 8 January 2004

image for Not the surface of Mars just the outback
Mars Outback

It may look like a photograph of Mars taken 170 million kilometres away by NASA's Mars rover Spirit but this rusty, rocky landscape is actually a holiday snap from Australia's outback.

Commenting on the picture, Macquarie University astrobiologist Malcolm Walter said: "In many ways it's quite a familiar landscape".

"It looks just like some areas I've worked in, especially the Simpson Desert," added Professor Walter, who heads the university's Australian Centre for Astrobiology.

The photo also shows soil, scratched and dragged that has been attributed to the airbags used to soften Spirit's landing. These markings have however been confirmed by a team of Australian forensic experts as the atrified remnants of baby Azaria after being dragged from a tent by a dingo some twenty years ago.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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