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The Mystery of the Moon Crater Isn’t a Mystery

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The Mystery of the Moon Crater Isn’t a Mystery

mystery moon crater

For years, I enjoyed reading the Huffington Post. In recent years, however, things have been taking a turn for the worse. Case in point, this week the folks at Huffington Tech UK reported about a strange “alien base” that someone on YouTube had spotted on the moon. Yes, you read that right. YouTube. That’s their source.

Huffington Post also cited TechAndGadgetNews, which reported that the YouTube user WowForReel claimed he had spotted a crater on the moon using Google Earth (in Moon mode). WowForReel claimed that the object was too symmetrical to be random – pointing out an upside down V shape with a dark interior and odd-looking structures lining the entrance. He claimed that he had found the anomaly after “laboriously pouring over images of the moon” using Google Earth software. The TechandGadgetNews site even cited the coordinates of the find – 22°42’38.46″N 142°34’44.52″E. Reid Moore wrote, “…for anyone who wants to investigate this strange, triangular feature for themselves.”

Unfortunately, not a single journalist – not Moore, and certainly no one at the Huffington Post – even bothered to install Google Earth and look at that area of the moon for themselves. Had they done so, they would have quickly realized that WowForReel is nothing more than either a hoaxer, or terribly misinformed about the structure and shape of craters on the moon.

Mystery Moon Crater? Not Quite

Here’s the problem with what people like WowForReel do. They take unusual patterns on things – whether it’s structures on Mars, camera lens dust orbs in “ghostly” photographs, or even objects on the moon – and then twist them into something unusual or unnatural, when that isn’t the case at all.

Revealing his lack of knowledge of moon craters, WowForReel wrote, “[It} is too symmetrical to be a random, topographical structure caused by even the minimal erosion typical of the lunar landscape.”

One only needs to explore the many blogs and forums where legitimate astronomers have been exploring some of the most unusual craters for many years (see images at the bottom of this article), just to see how incorrect that statement is. First, let’s take a look at the zoomed-in image in question.

mystery moon crater

At first glance, and with the over-dramatic description and a ludicrous title of “Alien base on Moon?” – the YouTube video somehow attracted a few mainstream sites to actually write about it as though the observation on Google Moon was actually legitimate. It appears none of the writers bothered to explore the area of the moon in question themselves. Sure, they would have seen the same image, just as I discovered.

mystery moon crater

But exploring the surrounding area around this structure turns up numerous, similar craters that have similar features, including the pixelated, strange objects lining the shadow side of the object. Here’s one example a very, very short distance from the original object:

odd moon crater

Notice the same structures lining the shadow side of the crater. Here’s another, off to the east of the first two objects.

odd moon crater

And another….

odd moon crater

And yet another…

moon crater

Same triangular sort of shape, and objects lining the leading, shadowy edge of the crater — all of these clearly shot during low-sun conditions, leaving long shadows on the ground and adding to the odd coloring and surreal landscape. This is a landscape that is easy for the mind to manipulate objects into anything it likes.

Exploring around the area and looking at some of the much larger craters, again those pebble-like objects spaced out along the edge of the shadow region of the crater appear on all of the craters.

moon crater

This phenomenon is best described by the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Scientists explain the interesting texture along the edge of the crater as “terraces”:

The impact sprays material — ejecta — out in all directions. The impactor is shattered into small pieces and may melt or vaporize. Sometimes the force of the impact is great enough to melt some of the local rock. If an impactor is large enough, some of the material pushed toward the edges of the crater will slump back toward the center and the rock beneath the crater will rebound, or push back up, creating a central peak in the crater. The edges of these larger craters also may slump, creating terraces that step down into the crater.

The craters on the area of the moon in question are from impact cratering, with asteroids striking the surface of the moon at an angle – sometimes creating shapes that are not entirely round.

Craters with irregular shapes or multiple impact craters formed at the same time. Oblong craters can be created by impacts striking the surface at a very low angle.

So – as you can see from similar structures all around the same area as the first object, there is nothing at all unusual about the object displayed in the YouTube video.

However, if you really want to see some crazy and unusual images from the moon, I highly recommend you follow the work of the professionals. Check out some of the impressive craters and other moon structures cataloged by the scientists over at Moon Zoo.

mystery moon crater

There are so many wonders and mysteries in this universe of ours, do we really need to make things up? The moon is an object that is teeming with areas to explore and wonders to behold – there’s really no need to come up with silly stories about alien bases to try to make it interesting. The moon is more than interesting all on its own.

Want to see some cool stuff? Follow China’s moon rover as it explores and sends some of the latest and most impressive images of the moon back to Earth.

Originally published on

  • > YouTube. That’s their source.

    YouTube is the most respected scholarly publication in all of fringedom!

  • > YouTube. That’s their source.

    YouTube is the most respected scholarly publication in all of fringedom!

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Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
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Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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