Chinese Rover Spots Weird 'Cube' on the Moon, Plans to Take a Closer Look

China's Yutu-2 moon rover has spotted a weird cube-shaped object on the moon, and observers are stumped.

The finding was reported on Friday last week by Our Space, a Chinese social media channel associated with the China National Space Administration, according to Space.com.

In a blog post on WeChat, Our Space authors said the cube-shaped object, which they variously described as a "mysterious hut", an "obtrusive cube" and a "mysterious house", was stumbled upon by operators controlling the Yutu-2 rover while they were taking photos of the surrounding skyline.

A photo of the object was also published on the blog, which appears to show a small prominent square in the horizon. The cube was estimated to be around 80 meters away from the rover's location.

According to the blog, the Yutu-2 team are set to go and check it out, but are not expected to arrive at the cube for two to three months.

Yutu-2 has been operating ever since it was dropped off on the far side of the moon by the Chang'e 4 probe on January 3, 2019.

The Our Space post was noticed by Andrew Jones, a journalist covering China's space activity. He included a photo, seen below.

He wrote on Twitter: "So yeah, it's not an obelisk or aliens, but certainly something to check out, and hard to discern much from the image."

Jones suggested that the cube could be some sort of boulder that had been blasted out of the moon's surface due to a previous asteroid impact.

Predictably, the discovery of the moon cube prompted jokes about its origins from other Twitter users.

"Moon cube's haunted," wrote author Chuck Wendig. "I've been staying in the moon cube to get some peace and quiet and I would really appreciate it if everyone just backed off," wrote political scientist Sarah McLaughlin.

Whether the moon cube is an asteroid-related boulder, an ancient alien artefact or merely someone's house, it's not the first time that Yutu-2 has stirred speculation with its lunar findings.

In 2019, the Yutu-2 team reported the discovery of what was described as a gel-like substance on the lunar surface.

The finding prompted wide interest, but Chinese researchers eventually concluded that the material was actually just made up of fragments of rocks mixed together.

Life as we know it is incredibly unlikely to exist on the moon for various reasons. For one, its temperature alternates between unsurvivably cold and unsurvivably hot. At night, the temperature on the moon plummets to -298 degrees Fahrenheit. In the day, it soars to 224 F.

This is because the moon has no atmosphere that can trap the sun's heat for long. The lack of atmosphere also means there is no breathable air on the moon and essentially zero surface pressure when compared to Earth.

There is also no liquid water on its surface—thought to be a vital component for life.

In short, people anticipating life on the moon as a result of the cube discovery should not hold their breath. Any aliens living there would certainly have to.

The moon
A photo of the moon as seen from Cannes, France. China's Yutu-2 rover has been operating on the lunar surface for nearly three years. Laurent Emmanuel/AFP/Getty