NASA's Mars mission has proven to be invaluable in helping scientists understand the many intricacies of the Red Planet.
The hole, which is surrounded by a "Swiss cheese terrain" of frozen carbon dioxide, is likely hundreds of meters across and quite deep. This means the odd hole on Mars is not small at all.
According to Science Alert, there are several possible ways the hole formed, including a meteorite impact, collapsing lava tubes, floods or some kind of volcanic activity. "There is also a deeper, circular formation that penetrates through the ice and dust".
"Earth has more in common with Mars than you might think", NASA officials wrote in a YouTube video description Friday (June 2). Take for example the unusual deep holes discovered on Mars that the agency can't explain.
The image of the hole on the Martian surface was taken by the agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) as it scanned the planet's south pole region.
While scientists determined that the freakish hole is an impact crater, the artificial-looking features of the surface make even researchers wonder as to its true origin. After extensive investigation using MRO's measurement and surveillance tools, researchers discovered that the spacecraft's solar panels had failed to deploy, which caused its failure to send a signal back home.
"It's a marvelous vehicle that we expect will service the Mars Exploration Program and Mars science for many more years to come."