See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

Scheming invaders. Benevolent vegetarians. Climate refugees. As scientific exploration has advanced, so have creative interpretations of the red planet and its potential residents.

Jupiter is the king, Uranus is the comedian, Pluto is the underdog. But of all the planetary bodies in our solar system, Mars is clearly the biggest celebrity. Take a visual tour through our evolving fascination with the red planet and see how it has been venerated through the years as a powerful deity, a scientific curiosity, and a pop culture icon.

A joining of opposites: Cupid uses a special love knot to bind the Roman god Mars to the goddess Venus in a painting by Paolo Veronese.

A witness recounts an epic battle between Martians and Earthlings in H.G. Wells’s now notorious thriller.

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