It seems that we have been here longer than we thought, and we are not talking about the years that have passed. During this year, a number of studies were launched claiming that life on Earth had begun earlier than previously thought, and now a group of researchers at the University of Tokyo has a fossil proof that life began about 150 millions of years earlier than previously estimated.
While conducting an analysis of carbon isotopes in sedimentary rocks in a region of Canada called Labrador, the group of researchers discovered these signs of primordial life.
The rocky sediments dating back to the Eoarquean Geological Age, which occurred between 3.6 and 4 billion years ago, suggest that the ancestral life on the planet may have started probably about 3.95 billion years ago.
Previously, life on earth was thought to have begun about 3.8 billion years ago, with the appearance of the first unicellular organisms, and then a billion years later, by the first complex organisms (multicellular), there are about 541 millions of years.
The fossil finds nothing resembles those seen in the films, highly complex and detailed, but it is rather something known as biogenic graphite, which are in practice the fossilized remains of old cells in the form of chemical impressions in graphite and carbonate .
Fossils with similar chemical signatures had already been found in Isua Greenstone Belt in Greenland, but these were only 3.7 billion years old, and are therefore much more recent than those now identified.
The most interesting part of this discovery concerns the fact that the era to which fossilized remains belong, to date has been considered an inhospitable era for the existence of life, in which the earth’s crust was quite recent, and the atmosphere very heavy and oxygen extremely rarefied. This may change the way we search for life on other planets.