Visitors to Salamanca, Spain who see this stone carving on a centuries-old cathedral are astonished by its similarity to a modern-day astronaut – the space helmet, the quilted spacesuit, the boots, and the air tubes.
“That is absolutely, unmistakably an astronaut,” they say. And right they are! Salamanca’s Gothic cathedral, built between 1513 and 1733, underwent restoration in 1992. Cathedral authorities permitted quarry man Jeronimo Garcia to add modern images to the building’s façade. These included the astronaut, as well as a dragon eating ice cream.
Amusing curiosities like this one serve as a reminder that not every unusual carving, structure, or formation is evidence of space alien visitation or the use of advanced technology earlier on in human history. Sometimes the explanation is far simpler. A carved stone astronaut turns out to be the whimsical work of a modern-day sculptor, just as a giant human face on Mars turned out be a natural land formation that resembled a face when illuminated by sunlight and viewed from above.