There may be clues about the origin of life on Earth, on Mars


NASA has recently discovered traces of the existence of a sea on Mars, 3.7 million years old, that may contain the answer to one of the great mysteries of our planet: that of the origin of life.

The truth is that no one knows for sure what the origins of life on planet Earth are, nor even the environment in which it has formed. However, NASA has discovered traces of the existence of a giant lake in southern Mars, which may contain clues to the origin of life on Earth. And this is known to have appeared about 4 billion years ago.

NASA has found deposits of minerals under the Eridania basin, which lead to the belief that it has had a giant lake about 3.7 billion years ago. These deposits will then be the result of volcanic activity that would withstand standing water. According to Paul Niles, a NASA planetary geologist and co-author of the site study, it can clarify the “kind of environment where life may have begun on Earth”.

Still in a report posted on NASA’s Web site, Niles said that “volcanic activity combined with standing water provided conditions that were probably similar to conditions on Earth around the same time”. And it was then, the geologist said, that life was “evolving” on our planet.

But this does not mean that you will ever find out if Mars actually had life, but the finding can provide essential clues as to understanding in what environment life on Earth came about. Since the oldest evidence of life on our planet has been found in deposits with similar characteristics.

Still, according to Niles, the lake, which would have been 10 times larger than all Great Lakes in North America, was “deep” and “long-lived”, a “hydrothermal environment” like Earth’s and environments where it would be possible to find life on other planets.

“Life that does not need a good atmosphere or a temperate surface, but only rocks, heat and water”, said the American.

The study, co-authored by Paul Niles and Joseph Michalski, thus expanded the range of wetland diversity on Mars. Now dry and without volcanic activity, the ancient sea of Eridania had a cubic area of 210,000 kilometers.