Meet Galle- The Happy Face crater from mars.

Galle is a crater on Mars. It is located on the eastern rim of the huge impact basin Argyre Planitia in Argyre quadrangle. It is named after the astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle. 

Galle is often known as the “happy face crater” because the illusion of a smiley is created by a curved mountain range in the southern part of the crater and two smaller mountain clusters further north. The formation was first photographed by Viking Orbiter 1.

Why did you see a smiley face? 

On the face of it, it was just a crater with a few mountain ranges ( no offence to Galle- the crater ), but i bet the moment you saw the photo you recognized the smiley face ! 

Mysterious’ isn’t it!!

It is due to a well known psychological phenomenon known as ‘Pareidoila.’ Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds and cars! and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse. 

Read more about Pareidolia here.

Image Credit : NASA.

The number of possible “on-off” patterns of neuronal firing is immense, estimated as a staggering ten times ten one million times (ten to the millionth power). The brain is obviously capable of an imponderably huge variety of activity; the fact that it is often organized and functional is quite an accomplishment!
—  Daniel J. Siegel- The Developing Mind, 1999

Beware The Zombie Maker!

The insects above were all killed by a predatory species of fungi common in the forests of the upper Amazon basin. This fungi’s name, Cordyceps, is derived from the Latin words cord, meaning “club”, and ceps, meaning “head”. 


Specific types of Cordyceps, that infect ants and flies, can control their behavior and turn these hosts into Zombies. The fungus takes control of the ant or fly, making it climb to the highest place possible before it dies. When the fungus finally kills the invertebrate host, one or more fruiting bodies sprout from the invertebrate’s exoskeleton. Having died in this elevated position, where wind speeds are greater, the spores are more easily swept away to infect new hosts. Marks have been found on fossilized leaves suggesting that this ability to modify the host’s behavior evolved more than 48 million years ago.

Images above © Dr. Morley Read / Science Source

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Link Between Family Income, Academic Achievement and Cortical Thickness Discovered

In middle-schoolers, neuroscientists find differences in brain structures where knowledge is stored.

The research will appear in Psychological Science.

Image: Previous studies have also shown brain anatomy differences associated with income, but did not link those differences to academic achievement. Image credit: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT.