Scientists Found a Morse Code Pattern on Martian Sand Dunes

Source: NASA

NASA's Mars orbiter has returned photos of a sand dune on the red planet — and it looks like it's trying to tell us something.

It's covered in dashes and dots that resemble Morse code:

Mars sand dune
Source: 
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

No, before you ask, the carvings weren't drawn by aliens. 

These dashes and dots are entirely natural. 

According to NASA, the dash-looking patterns come from wind blowing in two different directions at right angles across the dune. The dots form when some kind of interruption breaks up the dashes. 

Scientists aren't totally sure what causes the dot part of the pattern, and that's part of the reason NASA is studying the area. The agency has been studying dunes on Mars to learn more about the planet's geology and atmosphere.

Even though it formed through natural processes, the pattern looks so similar to Morse code that Gizmodo reported NASA's Veronica Bray was actually able to translate it. It spells out "NEE NED ZB 6TNN DEIBEDH SIEFI EBEEE SSIEI ESEE SEEE !!"

That's some profound stuff, Mars.

Read more:
• Elon Musk Just Announced a Mission to Mars as Soon as 2018
• Lockheed Martin Says It Has a Way to Get People to Mars by 2028
• Scientists Just Discovered Another Sign Suggesting Life Existed on Mars

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

MORE FROM

"The floor is …" meme is for every millennial trying to grow up without leaving the past behind

When you were a kid, the floor was just lava. Now it's way more complicated.

The new iOS 11 beta is out and Apple has changed your iPhone's message effects again

A new iOS 11 beta is out and iMessage has a new trick.

We now basically know when the iOS 11 public beta is coming out

We have a much better idea of when the iOS 11 public beta is coming out.

Snapchat's new update reveals the key difference between Snap and Instagram

The Snap Map update makes perfect sense. Just ask Snapchat's teenage user base.

Everything we know about the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus

Both smartphones are rumored to be waterproof.

A sharp memory doesn't make you smart. Our brains are actively trying to forget things.

Turns out, our brains are better off forgetting some things.

"The floor is …" meme is for every millennial trying to grow up without leaving the past behind

When you were a kid, the floor was just lava. Now it's way more complicated.

The new iOS 11 beta is out and Apple has changed your iPhone's message effects again

A new iOS 11 beta is out and iMessage has a new trick.

We now basically know when the iOS 11 public beta is coming out

We have a much better idea of when the iOS 11 public beta is coming out.

Snapchat's new update reveals the key difference between Snap and Instagram

The Snap Map update makes perfect sense. Just ask Snapchat's teenage user base.

Everything we know about the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus

Both smartphones are rumored to be waterproof.

A sharp memory doesn't make you smart. Our brains are actively trying to forget things.

Turns out, our brains are better off forgetting some things.