False Fossils Could Jeopardize the Search For Life on Mars

False Fossils Could Jeopardize the Search For Life on Mars
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If aliens indeed exist, why aren’t they here yet? That’s not only our common sense. It’s also a simple scientific principle. But the good news is that the question has some reliable answers.

Aliens don’t automatically mean some kind of space pirates looking for what planet with life to conquer next. Alien life could be only microbial or at the hunter vs. prey level, as we’re seeing on Earth at so many species. Bacteria, tigers, lions, deers, or hyenas haven’t invented the internet, and they don’t know how to build skyscrapers as far as we know.

But scientists have some strong hints that Mars is at least theoretically capable of hosting some life forms, which is why they still hope to find something alive there with powerful and diligent rovers.

Chemical processes creating fossil-like specimens could mislead the search for life

According to Phys.org, a new study reveals that those who search for any traces of life on the Red Planet could have a major hindrance due to fossil-like specimens emerging as a result of chemical processes.

If Mars ever supported any forms of alien life, it should have some fossils that would be similar to many types of non-biological deposits that the planet may feature for its rocks.

Dr. Sean McMahon, who is Chancellor’s Fellow in Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Physic and Astronomy, declared as quoted by Phys.org:

At some stage a Mars rover will almost certainly find something that looks a lot like a fossil, so being able to confidently distinguish these from structures and substances made by chemical reactions is vital. For every type of fossil out there, there is at least one non-biological process that creates very similar things, so there is a real need to improve our understanding of how these form.

Julie Cosmidis, who is an Associate Professor of Geobiology from the University of Oxford, admits one important fact, as quoted by the same source:

We have been fooled by life-mimicking processes in the past.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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