Help NASA explore Mars with Mapper. Poke around secret lakes and earn achievements

Owen Hill

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Hidden Object games suck... right? You're usually finding things like umbrellas and beach balls. Mapper does not suck. Mapper has you staring at the lakes of British Columbia, looking for things like "dark sediment" and super rare "microbialite." It's like Facebook with with less fancy dress and more sci-fi. You could potentially find a sea beast. Or at least end up on a leaderboard.

What's all this for? NASA are testing strategies to help us explore the moon, mars and asteroids. Do well enough and we'll be playing Mapper on Mars soon. Potentially.

Mapper is completely free and comes with a set of achievements for you to earn. To play, you just need to sign up at the official site and log in. Then, you can start tagging photos. You don't get to control where and when the photos are taken, but this is a secret lake we're talking about, don't expect too much.

You even get the option to save extra cool pics into a personalised album. I've embedded some popular snaps below.

This is another DeepWorker sub. Cool eh?
And this is the surface of the lake. Not quite as cool, but pretty.

Post your best Mapper pics and high scores in the comments. Images of sea beasts would also be cool.

Thanks Gizmodo , Universe Today and MSNBC .

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