Life On Mars – Fungi, Algae, and Lichens Might Have Been Spotted On the Red Planet

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Most people tend to believe that Mars is a barren world since the harsh conditions present on the planet are unfit for life as we know it. A new study published by a team of researchers claims that the Red Planet isn’t lifeless, so there might be life on Mars. Several images captured by Curiosity and Opportunity rovers revealed what appear to be Martian fungi, algae, and lichens.

The researchers observed what appear to be fifteen fungus-shaped specimens which were able to grow in the sands of the Red Planet. One of the scientists has noted that there is no process, geological or abiogenic, which could produce structures similar to the ones observed in the photos. Many of the specimens which appear in the study grew from the sand in less than three days.

Another researcher argues that the seasonal variations of the level of Martian methane are clear proof that some life forms are present on the planet. Official data suggests that 90% of the methane which was detected on Mars is released by organic sources, with the variations being linked to the life cycle of our neighbor. NASA also observed such examples of biological activity in the past.

There might still be life on Mars

While the evidence appears to be substantially, the results of the study didn’t convince some scientists. Eight senior reviewers and six researchers evaluated the paper. Three of them were unconvinced by the data which was offered, but the remaining eleven decided that the study should be published after some changes were made.

Representatives of the journal were the research report was issued have declared that the study is quite promising, but it doesn’t provide definite proof about potential life on Mars. Some of the researchers who read the report also believe that the mushroom-like objects could be hematite, a common type of iron oxide.

The authors of the study argue that hematite can also be a product of organic processes, adding that it doesn’t take the shape of lichens.

Source: Journalofastrobiology.com


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