What the heck are those?

Spike Tree

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has been capturing some amazing shots of the Red Planet lately.

There was that thing that looked a bit like a "doorway" on Mars last month, for instance — but which later turned out to be a tiny gap in ancient sandstone.

Now, we get to see Curiosity's next fascinating discovery: two ancient "spikes" of cemented rock that almost look like the petrified remains of ancient trees.

"Here is another cool rock at Gale crater on Mars!" the SETI Institute wrote last week. "The spikes are most likely the cemented fillings of ancient fractures in a sedimentary rock. The rest of the rock was made of softer material and was eroded away."

Crater Discovery

The image was taken by Curiosity on May 15 using its Mastcam instrument. The Curiosity team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab has yet to comment on the rather odd finding, so we can't really say with any degree of certainty what it is yet.

Futurism has reached out to the team to find out more.

Nonetheless, it's a fascinating glimpse into the Red Planet's geological past. Curiosity has been exploring the surrounding Gale crater for almost an entire decade.

Scientists suspect the massive, 96-miles-across crater was formed after a massive meteor hit the planet's surface around 3.7 billion years ago, around the time Mars is believed to have been covered in large lakes and flowing rivers.

Could the spikes date back to the times the crater was formed? Stay tuned to find out.

READ MORE: NASA Rover Spots Surreal 'Spikes' on Mars [CNET]

More on Curiosity: Scientists Extremely Intrigued by Possible Sign of Life on Mars

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