Astronomers, philosophers, priests, and scientists, in general, had always been wondering if there is any trace of life on Mars. Our neighbouring planet has some traits that make it suitable for hosting any organisms – it has water, it’s located in the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ of the Solar System, and it’s about the same size as Earth.
Although scientists are far from uncovering all the secrets of life and how it works, some researchers believe that under certain conditions, at least microorganisms could pop out on other planets as well. But could that be the case for the Red Planet?
Fungus could be growing on Mars
A paper published in the journal Advances in Microbiology brings an out-of-this-world claim, both literally and figuratively: an international team of researchers claim to find evidence of life on the Red Planet in the form of ‘fungus-like Martian specimens’. The scientific team even claims that the findings can be proven in the form of photos taken by the NASA Curiosity and Opportunity rovers and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
The research team wrote, as cited by Futurism.com:
Fungi thrive in radiation intense environments,
Sequential photos document that fungus-like Martian specimens emerge from the soil and increase in size, including those resembling puffballs.
However, the research team also released other important statements:
It is well established that a variety of terrestrial organisms survive Mars-like conditions,
Given the likelihood Earth has been seeding Mars with life and life has been repeatedly transferred between worlds, it would be surprising if there was no life on Mars.
Complex organisms such as humans living on Mars represent, at least for the moment, only a sci-fi scenario. But considering that astronomers aim to give the Red Planet a lot of attention in the near future, we are free to assume anything.
The research team includes scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and George Mason University.