Jelly Donut rock on Mars: Mystery solved, scientists say

The intriguing Martian rock -- dubbed the "jelly donut" because it's white on the outside with a red center -- was photographed by NASA's Opportunity rover. The rock, more than 1.5 inches wide, was officially named Pinnacle Island.

NASA scientists said it was "unlike anything we have seen before," but they definitely determined it to be a rock.

That didn't satisfy everyone.

A neuropsychologist and author named Rhawn Joseph decided to sue NASA for failing to investigate the rock, which he believed could be a "mushroom-like fungus."

Part of the controversy is in the rock's timing. It appeared in an image taken January 8, but it was not in an image of the same patch of ground taken December 26.

NASA initially offered a few possible explanations for this, but the real answer has finally been revealed.

So where did it come from?

Drumroll please:

According to CNN, researchers now say Pinnacle Island is a piece of a larger rock, which Opportunity broke and moved with its wheel in early January. Further images from the rover reveal the original rock that the rover's wheel must have struck.

We haven't seen a response yet from Joseph.

Get more on this story at

Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.