It's undeniable that this satellite image of the Al Jawf oasis in southeastern Libya is incredibly striking, with large irrigated plots standing out in contrast to their barren surroundings. But, a little like staring at clouds, their lay-out is enough to get your imagination running wild.

So the image, captured by Japan’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS), looks a bit like a dog, to my eyes. But maybe you have different ideas. What does it look like to you?


While you're thinking about that, a little more about the oasis: the plots are up to a kilometer across, and are created by a central-pivot irrigation system—hence their shape. With only 6 percent of Libya actually being suitable for agriculture, these patches are a lifeline. Now... what do you think it looks like? [ESA]