Mysterious Moon Hut Turns Out to Have Mundane Origin

by Shelby Scott

As our planet’s only natural satellite and nearest extraterrestrial object, the moon has garnered the attention and attraction of professionals and amateurs for centuries. Now, a unique moon discovery, made in December by China’s lunar rover, has been found to have rather mundane origins.

According to Live Science, China’s lunar rover, Yutu 2, made an interesting discovery in December. Images show that looked it resembled a “cube-shaped blur” along the moon’s horizon. Previously deemed a “moon hut,” the object appeared irregularly symmetrical, with a strange flat top. The outlet stated China’s National Space Administration’s outreach program, Our Space, joked they had found a hut of alien pioneers.

As interesting as that might have been, the space agency discovered it wasn’t at all the case. Instead, located on the moon’s far, rugged side, Yutu 2 sent close-up images of something entirely different. Images came back to Earth on January 8th. Overall, it disproved any existence of an alien pioneer hut.

‘Alien Hut’ Majorly Disappoints

Rather, after what the outlet reported took a month’s long trip, Yutu 2 discovered a much smaller, rounder, and cuter object. Images simply show a rock, much smaller than initially believed, taking the uniquely adorable shape of a crouched bunny. Following its inspection, the Yutu 2 team deemed the rock, and its surrounding fellow rocks, “jade rabbit.”

After a month’s wait, space journalist Andrew Jones writes, “The moon’s surface is 38 million square kilometers of rocks, so it would have been exceptional for it to be anything else.”

That said, Jones continued, “But while small, the jade rabbit rock…will also be a monumental disappointment to some.”

Prior to inspection of the lunar object by the rover, Live Science reports, based on the distance and perspective of the bunny rock from the original image, many hoped to find a much larger object. The outlet compared expectations to the size of France’s Arc de Triomphe or Beijiing’s towering CCTV headquarters building.

Now, there’s no doubt that the moon’s tiny rock formation is adorable, albeit it a bit underwhelming. However, while we did previously know of the “man on the moon,” it’s comforting to know he sees accompaniment from a teeny space rabbit.

Where is China’s Moon Rover Heading Next?

While the discovery of the moon’s rabbit-shaped rock has underwhelmed imaginative space theorists, Yutu 2 still has important contributions in its travels on the moon.

According to the outlet, the rover will continue its exploration of the Kármán crater whose expanse covers an impressive 115 miles in width. Yutu 2 has been navigating the ruddy region of the moon since the first-ever soft landing took place on the far side of the moon in 2019. Additionally, Yutu 2 has garnered accolades as it’s the longest-lasting rover to ever explore the moon’s surface.

Perhaps, as the lunar rover continues its journey, we’ll have more animalistic-shaped phenomena to add to our extraterrestrial catalog.