Spacecraft spots "spiders" scattered across surface of Mars

The European Space Agency has observed a peculiar behavior on Mars that could be mistaken for spiders scuttling across the planet's surface.  

The "spiders," which are actually simply tiny, dark-colored patterns that start to emerge when sunlight shines on carbon dioxide deposited during the planet's winter months,  

were recorded on camera by the European Space Agency's Mars Express  

spacecraft, according to a news release from the agency. According to the space agency, the light converts the carbon dioxide ice at the bottom of the deposits into gas,  

which finally explodes through ice up to three feet thick, launching spurts of dust that resemble geysers before landing on the surface.  

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, which launched in 2016 and has been examining Mars for clues of potential past life, noticed the spider patterns.   

Because of its "linear, almost geometric network of ridges" suggestive of Incan ruins, a region of Mars known as "Inca City" has most of the black spots photographed by the orbiter appearing on its outskirts.  

The region, also known as Angustus Labyrinthus, was found by a NASA probe in 1972 and is located close to the planet's south polar cap.   

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