The following was cropped from a raw image taken with Mars Curiosity Rover’s right mast camera of the Murray Buttes region. NASA published the image on the Mars Curiosity website without comment.
NASA did comment on the terrain in this region: Mars Rover Views Spectacular Layered Rock Formations.
Photos of surrounding terrain: http://mars.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/?s=1459&camera=MAST_
The location of these objects is identified as Area 1 from the gigapan image shown below.
An object is visible to the right of the large rock at the bottom of the photograph. The object is significantly different from surrounding rocks in several ways. Unlike the rocks, it is long and slender. At least two sides are curved and the curves follow each other, except the distance between the curves consistently changes, resulting in a tapered shape. Lines normal to the curves make the object appear to be segmented.
A smaller and similar object appears to the left of the main object. This is also curved, tapered, and has an unusually small aspect ratio compared to the rocks. Visibility of both objects appears to be partially obstructed by a rock so it is possible these objects are joined.
The anomalies were reported in alternative and social media after discovery in 2016. Pareidolia has led to misinterpretation of features on Mars and there isn’t much to be gained by speculating about what the objects are. Perhaps geologists can attribute them to a natural formation, although it is hard to imagine how they could be interpreted as rocks. Because they are extraordinary, anyone with an interest in Mars and certainly scientists from NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory must be intensely curious; however, there was no press release. There must be unpublished research and other communications about this. Perhaps there is a scientist or a science journalist who will become interested and help make more information become available.
There is at least one other image of this taken on Sol1462 and it shows the same objects in the same location. The images are compared below.
Sol 1462 image source: https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl-raw-images/msss/01462/mcam/1462MR0072970220703603E01_DXXX.jpg
Gigapan image source: http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/191358
Area 2 includes a similar feature that also appears cylindrical and segmented.
So far, there are no published articles from mainstream media, scientists, or science journalists. Obviously there is otherwise much focus on Mars and thousands of people are involved in study of the planet. Although these are extremely remarkable objects, mainstream media is either censoring discussion about this finding or they are incompetently failing to give it the attention it deserves. A discovery of purple rocks on Mars received much scientific and media attention, but this formation is ignored. An important story is behind the silence and I continue to seek authoritative analysis or at least acknowledgement that curiosity exists on this subject. I want to know why this was published by NASA, yet they ignore questions regarding it. More importantly, I want to know what these objects are.
I’ve used Twitter to ask people and organizations for comment. Simple questions were directed to people with professional interest in Mars. I generally find social media users responsive to questions, but scientists and science journalist have been oddly silent or, at best, dismissive. One type of response I get is a declaration that this has been Photoshopped. I like that one – it authenticates this as obviously extraordinary. More specific and useful information is sometimes offered too. Initially, I was not aware there was another image taken of Area 1 until a Space Community Google+ user pointed me to an image from Sol1462.
I use hashtag #Sol1459 when I inquire about the objects on Twitter and I encourage anyone to include this tag in their tweets. Search on #Sol1459 with Twitter to see what conversations there are. By the way, “Sol” refers to “solar day” of the rover’s mission.
It may be helpful if many people make their own inquiries to scientists and science journalists with connections to the exploration of Mars. Perhaps this is just some sort of amazing geological feature. Even if it is a rock formation, I expect curiosity about it – not silence.