The object, according to Martines, is "about 700 feet long and 150 feet wide." He's calling it "Bio Station Alpha, because I'm just assuming that something lives in it or has lived in it."
His video was uploaded May 28, and has already been watched nearly 750,000 times.
A spokesman forNASA'sJet Propulsion Lab could not immediately identify the object, speculating that "Bio Station Alpha" was most likely a glitch in the digital imaging or an unusual feature on the surface of the planet -- and not a Martian base.
Martines believed he knew what it was, however.
"It's very unusual in that it's quite large, it's over 700 feet long and 150 feet wide, it looks like it's a cylinder or made up of cylinders," he said in the video.
"It could be a powerstation or it could be a biological containment or it could be a glorified garage -- hope it's not a weapon.
"Whoever put it up there had a purpose I'm sure. I couldn't imagine what the purpose was. I couldn't imagine why anybody would want to live on Mars."
But who's responsible? Martines says it's unlikely to beNASA.
"I don't know if they could pull off such aprojectwithout all the people seeing all the material going up there," he said. "I sort of doubt NASA has anything to do with this. I don't know if NASA even knows about this."
Google's imagery comes from many different locations, a company spokeswoman said, and glitches and errors can be introduced in many ways.
"Google Earth and its many features, such as Mars, is built from information that is available from a broad range of both commercial and public sources -- in this case,governmentspaceagencies," she said.
"In a few instances, unique and peculiar features can appear in the imagery that is made available to us that could be a result of a number of things such as image processing errors or a random surface feature, just to name a few."
Martines is seeking help finding a higher resolution image, if it exists.
He claims the coordinates of Bio Station Alpha are 71 49'19.73"N 29 33'06.53"W and that anyone who has downloaded the GoogleEarthsoftware can see it.
Skeptics are lining up to shoot down Martines' theory, which has been likened to the infamous "Face on Mars" hysteria, which turned out to be an unusual angle of a rock formation.
The first of the Bio Station Mars parodies have also already hit YouTube, starting with Ski Station Beta.