Researchers have found evidence of fatty acids, well-known as the cornerstones of living cells, in the acidic currents in the UK, which hint that life on Mars could have been indeed present there at some time in the Red Planet’s history.
Scientists from the Imperial College London, in the UK, determined that there may be nearly 12,000 huge pools of organic compounds on Mars which would represent vestiges of an extinguished form of life.
“Mars hosted water billions of years ago, which means that some form of life could have thrived there. If life existed before the water dried up, it would probably have left traces that are still preserved in the Martian rock today,” explained Mark Sephton from the Imperial College Of London.
The Dorset, in the United Kingdom, is the homeland to very acidic sulfur currents that house bacteria that prosper in these very harsh environments. One such setting, located in St. Oswald’s Bay, might be the most interesting one in the whole world, as it is almost a 1-to-1 replica of the conditions on Mars.
Evidence of fatty acids in the acidic currents in Dorset, in the UK, might prove that life on Mars existed at some point in the Red Planet’s history
The researchers approached the scenery as a model for Mars and surveyed the organic matter stored in the rock deposits surrounding the place. Iron-rich goethite ore is processed into hematite, a highly popular material on Mars which makes the planet looking reddish.
According to the scientists’ findings, if a terrestrial iron-rich rock mineral can house evidence of life, such as bacteria and fatty acids, then, its Mars’ counterpart has to contain evidence of a long-extinguished life form that populated the Red Planet once, if there has been any.
Scientists found that iron-rich rocks from the St. Oswald’s Bay carried numerous microbes and contained signs of fossilized organic remnants.
On the basis of how many rocks originate from acidic conditions on Mars and supposing that the amount of fatty acids present in Martian rock formations is as high as the one found on Earth, there could be as many as 12,000 huge pools filled with organic matter that would be a irrefutable hint that, once in the past, life on Mars existed.