Not so long ago, American astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson published a picture taken by a Martian reconnaissance helicopter.
It shows shadows that resemble a McDonald’s sign. Of course, this is a joke, but, as scientists believe, there is some truth in it. Moreover, a number of studies indicate that life originally originated on Mars.
Is there life on Mars? This question is being asked by astronomers and astronauts who continue their research and missions to the Red Planet. They are all trying to figure out what happened on Mars billions of years ago, and whether people or other creatures lived on it, even if they were microorganisms.
You might think this question is out of date, but the controversy over the Red Planet continues to this day. They arise among space lovers, supporters of unusual theories, and even in scientific circles.
Astrophysicists, who put forward hypotheses about the existence of life on this planet, ask questions: did life originate as we know it on Mars? Did humans make the Red Planet uninhabitable?
Life originated on Mars?
In the film “Interstellar” by British director Christopher Nolan, it is said that the Earth has become uninhabitable, and people have practically no time left to escape. If there is no time for salvation, then why not save humanity as a whole?
According to the plot of the film, a certain professor has developed a plan according to which a spaceship with 5 thousand frozen human embryos will have to go to a planet suitable for life.
But first you need to find it, which is what the main characters do. Could Mars become such a planet, based on the scenario of this film? Or is it fiction reaching the point of absurdity?
Jonathan Lunin, a planetary scientist at Cornell University in New York, called the scientific debate that has been going on for nearly 10 years among astronomers and astronauts as a big dilemma.
It should be noted that they deployed after the discovery on Mars of traces of microorganisms, water, climate change and various chemicals necessary for the life of terrestrial organisms, including sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon.
These discoveries became the basis for a crazy new theory that life, as we know it now, originated on Mars! But there are questions that haunt the supporters of this theory: did life on Mars originate independently of the earth? Or did one planet “transfer” organic compounds and microorganisms with the help of meteorites about 3.8 billion years ago?
Life on Mars. Have we come from this planet to Earth?
Some scientists are inclined to assume that life originally originated on Mars. They made a similar conclusion based on the study of samples of Martian soil obtained during the space mission. According to them, life on Earth appeared thanks to meteorites from Mars, which were attended by microorganisms.
This hypothesis is not so far from the real facts. According to the International Meteorite Collectors Association (IMCA), Martian meteorites have been found not only in Antarctica, but in various areas around the world.
About 160 fragments of Martian meteorites could have fallen to Earth millions of years ago, carrying the primary microorganisms that eventually made life on the planet as we know it today.
In 2013, at the conference “In Search of Life on Mars,” John Grottzinger, professor of geology at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said that signs of life on Mars would help in the study of early life on Earth and answer the question: how did life on our planet originate?
Incidentally, the strangest theory is that life originally originated on Mars. Moreover, it was the first home for people, but after its destruction (as is now happening with the Earth), they began to look for a new planet in space, potentially suitable for life. So people found the Earth, later moving to it!
And the theory that Christopher Nolan put forward in Interstellar has a right to exist. If we are guided by scientific research, life could exist on Mars in the form in which we know it now, but microorganisms, and not people themselves, originally came to Earth.
Did humans pollute Mars?
In 2021, a new theory emerged. Geneticist Christopher Mason, who said that more than 30 spacecraft have visited Mars since the era of space exploration, wondered: “What if humans inadvertently transferred primary life forms to Mars, and then discovered them and decided that life on this planet originated for billions of years back?”
“Although NASA and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have precise and detailed protocols to ensure that their spaceships are free of organisms that might inadvertently travel during a space mission, in some cases there may have been disruptions,” says Mason.
He also emphasizes that when it comes to microorganisms, it is difficult to achieve complete sterility. For example, some microorganisms are found within us and on the surface of our skin, making it difficult for a spacecraft or lander to go into space without any form of primary life, despite all of NASA’s strict protocols.
Mason insists that when studying samples of Martian soil, it is necessary to separate microorganisms that were found directly on Mars from those that people “brought”.
In addition, scientists have confirmed that the Martian crater Jezero was a lake billions of years ago. This contradicts Mason’s theory of “pollution” of the Red Planet by humans, since this crater is an ideal place to search for traces of ancient microbial life!
Scientists are still striving to find out the answer to the question: are we the only living creatures in this galaxy? They also want to explore other planets suitable for life in case humanity cannot save the Earth from the effects of climate change.
But the question that plagues their minds still remains unanswered. Did life really begin on Mars? If so, it means that we were originally Martians, and then moved to Earth.