We all know what aliens look like from the movies. However, a group of scientists from MIT thinks that the creatures are stinky. MIT researchers proposed in a recent study that simple organisms are the ones that produce phosphine.
Here, on Earth, phosphine is one of the most toxic gases that we know of. It’s nicknamed “swamp gas,” and it is found in unpleasant locations, such as heaps of penguin dung.
However, on planets in the solar system, alien bacteria that do not need oxygen might as well ignore the gas whatsoever. Clara Sousa-Silva from MIT thinks that the rocky planets that have phosphine may be those where we can find aliens. We must take into account all the possibilities when it comes to alien life. So, phosphine can help alien life thrive. Let’s learn more about it!
Phosphine Can Lead Us to Aliens and Answer the Most Commonly Asked Question
Dr. Sousa-Silva, the leader of the study, stated that “Here on Earth, oxygen is a really vital sign of life. But other things besides life make oxygen too”. We also need to consider all the molecules that might not be made as often, but if they can be found on another planet, then there’s only one possible explanation.
Those creatures that do not rely on oxygen to grow are called anaerobic organisms. On Earth, anaerobes are the bacteria that process hydrogen and not oxygen. MIT’s researchers suggested that phosphine cannot be produced – naturally – on a rocky planet, without the involvement of some kind of form of life.
But there are some examples in which the gas can be produced spontaneously and without any kind of participation from any form of life on the planets Jupiter and Saturn. Accordingly, phosphine can indeed help alien life thrive. Of course, we talk about microbial life, not intelligent extraterrestrial life, though.