In 1877, Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli described that he had observed, on the surface of Mars, what appeared to be “canali”. This reference, discovered a few years later in his work notes, was translated as if implying that channels had been built by inhabitants of Mars. This led many rising scientists to attempt to demonstrate the existence of life on that planet. In fact, the Italian word “canali” is a general term to describe channels that are part of the natural terrain rather than those made by humans or by some other form of life.
However, the idea of the existence of life on Mars has survived this translation error and many today continue to try to prove the existence of life on the second smallest planet in our solar system, the fourth planet from the Sun, named after the Roman god of war, and often described as “the red planet" due to the presence of iron oxide on its surface, which bestows its reddish appearance.