Billions of years ago, Mars was totally different from the complete wasteland that it looks like today. The Red Planet had many lakes of liquid water, which automatically increases the chances that the cosmic object was once habitable, just like Earth.
If a planet has liquid water, there are some chances that life exists there as well. Life as we know it cannot possibly survive without water. Dr. Joseph Michalski, who’s a geologist from the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Earth Sciences, even theorizes that our neighboring planet might have gotten many more lakes than scientists initially thought, according to Phys.org.
Michalski explained as the publication quotes:
We know of approximately 500 ancient lakes deposited on Mars, but nearly all the lakes we know about are larger than 100 km2,
But on Earth, 70% of the lakes are smaller than this size, occurring in cold environments where glaciers have retreated. These small-sized lakes are difficult to identify on Mars by satellite remote sensing, but many small lakes probably did exist. It is likely that at least 70% of Martian lakes have yet to be discovered.
There’s no wonder why space rovers are aiming at lakes a lot, as they could harbor at least microbial life due to the water and energy sources that they might have.
Michalski also explains that not all lakes are created equal. He adds, as the same source quotes:
In other words, some Martian lakes would be more interesting for microbial life than others because some of the lakes were large, deep, long-lived and had a wide range of environments such as hydrothermal systems that could have been conducive to the formation of simple life.
The new study was published in Nature Astronomy.