Martian Meteorite Found in Antarctica

Of approximately 13,000 meteorites found in Antarctica, only seven have come from Mars. “This is in many ways the most significant discovery to date,” said Professor Juan O’Gorman of the Museo nacional de Buenos Aires.

A meteorite found some 500 miles from the South Pole in 1996 appeared to contain evidences of microscopic life, but, according to Professor O’Gorman, this one has been even more unequivocally shaped by “biological processes,” as well as the action of wind and water.

“It looks a lot like a brick from an ancient canal!” claims Phillip Payne of the Schiaparelli Institute. “For years people have been laughing at Percival Lowell’s maps, but now it looks as if he might have been right all along!”

Lowell, a turn-of-the-century American astronomer, published detailed maps of a chain of canals which he claimed criss-crossed the surface of the red planet. Contemporary telescopes (such as the Hubble space satellite) have, however, failed to reveal any traces of these canals, which are now believed to have been caused by a combination of atmospheric distortion and minute irregularities on the observer’s retina.

Representatives of the estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs (author of Tarzan, A Princess of Mars[*], John Carter of Mars, and other novels set in the imaginary land of “Barsoom”) were unavailable for comment.

[International Newzbreaks (22/07/04), sect. C, p. 3]

[*] See >Xanthippe.

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