Space

Researchers Discover that Ancient Mars may have been teeming with Microscopic Life

By Aazam

October 17, 2022

French scientists claimed on Monday that ancient Mars may have had an underground world teaming with microscopic creatures

The researchers determined that if these primitive life forms existed, they would have caused a Martian Ice Age and suffocated themselves

The study's lead author, Sorbonne University postdoctoral researcher Boris Sauterey, said life even microbes "might actually regularly trigger its own end

He said the results "are a bit depressing, but I think they are also incredibly stimulating" in an email. They push us to rethink biosphere-planet interactions

They hypothesized that hydrogen-gobbling, methane-producing bacteria might have thrived just beneath the surface, protected by several millimeters of earth

Sauterey believes these species swarmed anywhere on Mars without ice, just like on early Earth

At approximately -400F (-200C), species on the surface would have gone deeper to survive

Given Earth's nitrogen-dominated atmosphere, bacteria may have maintained temperate conditions, experts concluded

Kaveh Pahlevan of the SETI Institute said Mars climate models should incorporate French research

Pahlevan conducted another study claiming Mars was born wet with warm waters lasting millions of years

Pahlevan said the French study examined the climate consequences of potential bacteria when Mars' atmosphere was dominated by carbon dioxide and is not applicable to earlier times

Sauterey will investigate whether microbial life exists deep within Mars next