Homunculus in a Sperm Cell

This is a 17th Century drawing of a homunculus, a "little man" in a fetal position, in this case living inside the head of a sperm cell. The sketch was made at a time that was scientific enough to use a microscope but still fundamentally flawed [*] -- in the same way that people recently imagined that the "Crop Circles," common about five years ago in England, were surreptitiously designed by aliens flying in on UFO's at night or the so-called "Face on Mars" was carved by somebody as a message to Earthlings that there was once intelligent life on Mars. The image on the left was taken by the Viking Spacecraft in 1976, while the photo on the right, taken by the Mars Global Surveyor Satellite over the same location under much higher resolution and released by NASA on May 24, 2001, demonstrates that the photographic artifact on the left was just an optical illusion of light and shadows falling on a natural (random) Martian terrain. [**]

Mars Faces x 2

* Pierre Baldi, The Shattered Self: The End of Natural Evolution (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA; 2001).

** "NASA Never Forgets a 'Face'," The Los Angeles Times (May 25, 2001).