In the 70’s* the Viking space probes discovered a crater on Mars, called the Galle crater, it’s a pretty unremarkable crater, save one tiny little detail; it looks like a smiley face. It doesn’t just look like a smiley face a little bit… it looks like it a lot.
Apart from appearing on conspiracy theory, creationist and sensationalist websites, the smiley crater eventually found fame appearing in the Watchmen comic and movie. (I wonder how many people who read/saw Watchmen thought that was just a conceit of the story and have no idea the crater is actually real!) But Watchmen wasn’t the first movie to feature this crater…
A slightly older blockbuster, which in all probability you won’t have seen, featured it first… ‘Conquest of Space’ shows the crater at least twice (although it’s essentially the same ‘footage’) during the course of the movie. Nothing strange in that, except… Conquest of space was released in 1956 …20 years before the discovery of the crater in 1976!
If you look at the image below, you can make out the crater in all it’s glory. It’s there to see quite clearly, the smile …and even the eyes are identical if reversed!
If you’re interested, you can watch the whole movie on You Tube, the Smiley Face / Galle crater appears at about the 56 minute mark.
Even if you don’t watch the whole thing (and you should, it’s quite a curious little movie), please do yourself a favour and forward to the 39″ mark.. and watch the best G-Force special effect ever!**
UPDATE: The movie has been removed – but you can watch the trailer here:
* That’s the 1970’s in case you’re reading this in the distant future!
** Well… maybe not the best… but definitely the funniest!