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While floating above the Earth in the ISS, an astronaut aboard the space station noticed this vivid checkerboard pattern visible along Idaho’s Priest River.
Highlighting a photograph of the pattern on their website, NASA explained that the white squares are deforested areas covered in snow while the darker spots are locations that still have trees.
The origin of the arrangement actually dates back over an agreement made over a century ago when the U.S. government gave alternating squares of land to the Northern Pacific Railroad.
Since that time, some of those parcels were sold to logging companies that harvested their forests, leading to the unique pattern seen from space.
So, ironically, if an anomaly hunter from another world were looking at the pattern and theorized that it was intentionally constructed by humans in the distant past, they’d actually be fairly correct.
That said, whether the pattern is an indication of intelligent life may be a matter of debate.