Speed Reads

Out of this World

Tornados cause 'hairy blue spider' to appear on Mars

Spider-Man may have finally found his match in outer space.

There's no spider-universe stunt double outside of this planet (sorry, Marvel fans) but a "hairy blue spider" has sprawled its "legs" on Mars, writes LiveScience.

Researchers say the so-called spider is actually a pattern left by thousands of Martian tornados that churn up dust and expose new surface material, especially on the ridges and mountains of the planet's landscape. An image captured last month by the European Space Agency shows the dramatic results of the storms.

The storm pattern isn't actually bright blue, but the orbiter's Color and Stereo Surface Imaging System translates the color of the material to better show the contrast — in reality, the "spider" looks like its superhero pal in a dark red hue.

Scientists say it's unclear why the surface materials gathered along the planet's ridges in such a striking pattern, but say Mars' mountains could contribute to intensified air flow patterns that help create tornadoes. Read more at LiveScience.