Mars Sustained Life for 3.7 Billion Years, Hosting Ancient Creatures That Might Terrify Earthlings


Recent research conducted by a team led by Dr. Boris Sauterey from the School of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, USA, and the Ecole Normale Supérieure’s Institute of Biology, part of the Paris Sciences et Lettres University, has unearthed compelling evidence suggesting the presence of ancient and peculiar organisms beneath the surface of Mars.


According to Sci-News, their groundbreaking study indicates that Mars harbored life approximately 3.7 billion years ago, during its primordial stages. However, unlike life forms on Earth, these Martian organisms did not roam the planet’s surface; instead, they thrived in the subsurface layers.

The researchers propose a fascinating hypothesis: the existence of Martian life forms sustained within a unique environment beneath the planet’s regolith. This environment, saturated with saltwater, would shield organisms from harmful UV radiation and cosmic rays while providing a solvent. Moreover, the subterranean temperatures, diffusion gradients, and reduced atmospheric pressure may have fostered microbial life capable of metabolizing hydrogen and carbon dioxide to produce energy, emitting methane as a byproduct.

While similar processes have been observed on Earth, where extremophiles derive sustenance from disparate sources, this marks the first thorough examination of such conditions in a Martian context.

The notion of primitive life forms consuming hydrogen and emitting methane harkens back to Earth’s early stages, although such organisms would be toxic to modern terrestrial life forms, including humans, due to the excessive methane emissions.

Modeling the interaction between these ancient life forms and Mars’ environment, the researchers posit that an essential factor for their survival would be an ice-free surface, capable of supporting biomass akin to Earth’s primordial oceans. Previous studies, including those by NASA, have suggested the likelihood of such conditions on early Mars.

Regions like Hellas Planitia, Isidis Planitia, and Jezero Crater are identified as potential hotspots for these life forms, also serving as prime targets for future space missions aimed at excavating fossils of ancient Martian organisms.

The biomass on ancient Mars and Earth 3.7 billion years ago may have been comparable. However, the interaction of this ancient Martian ecosystem with the planet’s conditions could have led to a global cooling of approximately minus 223 degrees Celsius, inhibiting the development of more advanced life forms.

This revelation could serve as a definitive conclusion to the existence of other potential life forms, rendering Mars the barren planet it appears to be today.

The discovery of evidence suggesting ancient life beneath Mars’ surface opens a new chapter in our understanding of the cosmos. It not only sheds light on the possibility of extraterrestrial life but also underscores the resilience and adaptability of life forms in extreme environments. As humanity continues to explore the mysteries of the universe, Mars remains a tantalizing frontier, offering glimpses into our own origins and the potential diversity of life beyond Earth.


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