Clark trees

The Clark trees are a real ``maybe`` discovery, and I wonder why NASA or ESA don`t publish more detailed(color)pictures, what is possible,I also can`t find anywhere on their sites a scientific explanation,what is the opinion of the scientist of NASA and ESA about Clark trees.

Hi Ad,
How about an unscientific explanation: They look more like inward cave-ins than trees. Notice the sharp edge on the right also the shade of the bright branch like lines are the same as top soil of the area.

Thumbnail Size = 2.7 kb;
Preview Size = 21.3 kb;
Image Size = 71.3 kb;

I spent some time looking at other MOC images in the area, and I decided they were natural phenomena associated with freeze/thaw cycles. Although, the "branches" could be water carved features. Anyway, I think they are either CO2 or water ice defrosting over an underlying terrain which is much darker, this sort of thing is common in the polar regions.

Still, a super high res mars express image sure would help.

Here is another picture:


and another theory:

"Figure 8. Another interpretation of the Clarke trees: Small box canyons eroded from the terrain, possibly the result of long-ago-dead biogenic activity, such as from something akin to Earth's coral."



I personally think they are more tree like than any other explanation, but to be fair, check out this landform in the South Hills near North Platte Nebraska. (courtesy )


In the middle of this photo are agricultural fields, surrounded by steep rising hills with deep ravines in each.. Kind of a fractal pattern to it. Definitely looks plant-like. The hills are now being covered by cedar trees to prevent further erosion, but it is a unique and lovely place. Back to the point however, yes, it could be a land form, but I just can't see it as a cave in...more like it is sticking up toward the camera to me.

Let me try that again.

In the original image from the MOC site, I couldn't see a border between some branches which extenced as far as the surrondng soil. Although this could be a camouflage effect it is probably becaouse the lines are made of top soil. My first impression was that the formtions are sticking out because of the shadow like markings of the dotted features, but they can not be shadows because they are not perfectly aligned. The sharp edges give me the impression that they are cave-ins but then again look at these knobs:

A.C. Clarke's Trees - The topic that wouldn't die.

IMO, these are related to surface cracks or small dendritic valley networks seen in a lot of MOC sp images. They're probably caused by millions of years of the complex interactions of co2 ice and frost, water ice, dark fines, and the seasonal freeze-thaw cycle. Here are some related surface features from the Inca City area:

The "shadows" in M0804688 could easily be due to dark, wind-blown material.

See also:

Thanks you all for the response on the Clark trees, I like the theory, figure 8, of Marsman,
but there also should be more(high resolution) foto releases of these trees taken over the Mars seasons, and over several years, what is possible with all the orbiters.
The Clark trees on the foto`s like to reproduce themselfs and in every case almost the same way, there are small ones
and full growns, and there are a few similarities so it`s difficult to exclude on these assumptions the possibility of live on Mars. I hope that NASA and ESA
will spend more time on this fenomenon.

The shadows are unmistakeable. Notice how the shadows are darkest where the light must pass through the densest part of an outcropping and fades to gray where the light is passing through the top of the plant.


And it's "Clarke", not "Clark".

There is vegetation and water on mars. Here is the proof.

There is trees and vegetation check it out.


is not vegetal.


for water liquid on surface,

is ice.


There is more information at which reviews these issues.

I must say I find it hard to believe that geology can account for the Fibonacci patterns which occur with these spiders. I am inclined to believe a biogenic origin.

One of the crucial arguments in favor of biogenicity of Clarke Trees is this, from Greg M. Orme & Peter K. Ness (2001):

Any kind of fluid naturally tends to follow a path to lower ground, which of course is why rivers don't flow up hill. If spider branches and formations were related to fluid flows they would have to defy gravity. Channels flow downhill but don't form branches like spiders. Rock formations that look like spiders can form from mass wasting but don't point uphill.
The spiders, on the other hand, have branches that seem all but oblivious to the law of gravity. One could literally give thousands of examples from these images where branches point up hill in a delta shaped formation, and have branches that also point down hill in the same formation. Studies on ancient deltas and rivers on Mars show no similarity to spiders or spider ravines. A fluid flow encountering a hill, for example, would at least tend to go around it, but spider branches almost invariably go straight over them. A fluid would tend to flow into depressions but spiders either avoid them or skirt the rim of them in ways that are seemingly impossible for fluids to act.

Perhaps geologic.


The Martian South Pole is the only place where spiders occur. There are no spiders at the North Pole. It has to be noted that water can form on the South Pole in summer, for brines to stay liquid; as opposed to the North which is too cold (the South is about 25C warmer during summer). Arguments in favour of spiders make more sense if it is a result of the availability of water.

Basically, the discussions about spiders still exists today, only because they resemble plants and 'mainstream' scientists dig up any explanation that opposes that.

Hey Jeff, that was a great set of pictures in the link. The size of the smooth, black crescents are incredible when compared to the overall geography. There is a particular configuration of black crescents which include a metallic edifice at the eastern edge. The colored pixels within other crescents are blurred although promising.

Switching between the normal view and the inverted (negative) view reveals items hidden in the shadows.

Free software at 602 PC Suite offers WORD, EXCEL, and the valued photoshop (602 PHOTO).