Conspiracy theorists were sent into a frenzy when they believe they spotted a mudskipper fish – an amphibious fish which, as the name suggests, live in bodies of muddy water – on Mars. Not only does this suggest Mars was once inhabited by animals, but also that it contained large bodies of water, according to ET enthusiasts.

Prominent alien hunter Scott C Waring made the bizarre claim on his blog ET Data Base.

He said: “I found this mud skipper fish in one of the Mars Gigapan photos today.

“The mudskipper is a fish that often chooses to live on land, mud, rocks and sand, but when startled it flips in the air and dives into the nearest water area for safety. This looks like an ancient fossil of just such a fish.

“This fossil is absolute proof that large bodies of water did once exist on Mars.

However, sceptics and NASA would say the ‘fish’ and other similar findings are just the effects of pareidolia – a psychological phenomenon when the brain tricks the eyes into seeing familiar objects or shapes in patterns or textures such as a rock surface.

NASA said: “Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognisable shapes in clouds, rock formations, or otherwise unrelated objects or data.

“There are many examples of this phenomenon on Earth and in space.”

Another recent finding which supposedly supports the argument of life on Mars was that of a supposed statue of a Martian god.

The apparent statue is found enclosed between the bottom of two Martian cliffs, with Mr Waring claiming it is made out of copper or a “golden metal”.

He wrote on ET Database: “While looking over some Mars photos, I came across a strange figure hidden in the lower part of a hillside.

“The figure looks like its made of a copper or golden metal. I know this because the colour is very different from the colour of its surroundings.

“This was probably a god, a statue of a god that the people on Mars prayed to for protection.

“The statue itself has a head, a thick chest with a long robe covering it, a large book or shield on one arm.

“Very amazing discovery and absolute proof that ancient intelligent aliens not only lived on Mars, but prayed on Mars.”

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