Why are there spirals on the surface of Mars?

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Has the crop circle hoax spread to Mars? Or is something else going on? Actually, these nautilus-like spirals are the result of previously-undiscovered lava flows. Take a look at how Mars gained geometry.

These coiling flow patterns have been found on Earth volcanoes, but never before on Mars. Arizona State University graduate student Andrew Ryan found these during a study on how possible water would interact with lava flows on Mars. His project was to model nighttime infrared emissions in the Elysium region of Mars. He took a closer look, and found these coiling spirals, also found on the big island of Hawaii or on the floor of the ocean near the Galapagos Rift. The largest on Mars is about 100 feet across. According to Ryan, the coils are results of normal interaction of different lava flows.

"The coils form on flows where there's a shear stress - where flows move past each other at different speeds or in different directions. Pieces of rubbery and plastic lava crust can either be peeled away and physically coiled up - or wrinkles in the lava's thin crust can be twisted around."


The results are the beautiful and eerie twists on the dusty plains of Mars. Apparently there's nowhere in the universe that you can look without finding something uncanny.

Via Science.