Alien Life on Mars May Be Hiding Underneath the Planet's Crust

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 - 10:55AM
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 - 10:55AM
Alien Life on Mars May Be Hiding Underneath the Planet's Crust
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Image credit: YouTube
As our exploration of Mars continues, scientists are finding themselves faced with the crushing reality that there probably aren't any life forms waiting to be discovered on the planet's surface (apart, of course, from the ones we put there ourselves by accident).

It's a real disappointment, but it turns out that centuries of science fiction were way off-base.

The rocky surface of Mars doesn't harbor any bug-eyed aliens, nor beautiful members of a strangely humanoid royal family. John Carter has lied to us all.



Nevertheless, in the face of defeat, many scientists are unwilling to rule out the possibility that Martians may exist after all. If they're not discoverable upon the planet's surface, then perhaps they're somewhere else—such as beneath Mars' rocky outer crust.

There is a certain amount of sense to this new theory, proposed in a paper in Nature Geoscience. After all, we know that conditions on the surface of Mars are incredibly harsh, so it makes sense that if life were to develop, it should happen somewhere a little more warm and safe—like underneath the ground, where aliens can thrive without fear of destruction.

Life on our planet began in our oceans, despite our of fondness for land dwelling. It's entirely possible that Mars is similar, especially when you consider that the Red Planet's crust is a far less hostile environment than our own planet's rocky tectonic plates.

"Mars is not Earth. We must recognize that our entire perspective on how life has evolved and how evidence of life is preserved is colored by the fact that we live on a planet where photosynthesis evolved," Researchers reported in the new paper.

Certainly, the most promising areas of Mars that might have held life were at one point buried under an ocean of water. It's entirely plausible that pockets of safe space within the planet's surface would provide fertile ground for non-photosynthetic creatures to develop.

One of the biggest problems that has hampered humanity's attempts to find friendly neighbors is our assumption that alien races can be found in similar environments to us, with similar senses, biological needs, and even goals and aspirations.

One study has suggested that if we ever did find alien life on an icy planet, we'd never actually be able to make contact as they'd exist miles below a layer of frozen water that would keep them from noticing the needy messages that we constantly broadcast out into space.

Mars could prove to be a similar situation, with aliens burrowed deep underground for safety, while Curiosity checks the outer surface of an uncomfortable planet, and humanity declares that there can't be any actual life here simply because it doesn't want to form into some kind of gladiatorial society in the sand.



Perhaps, as easy as it would be to give up hope on the possibility of finding life on Mars, we have to resign ourselves to remaining optimistic for a little while later.

There's still a lot we don't know, and jumping to foregone conclusions about its inhabitants (or lack thereof) isn't a good idea until we've had a far better look around for ourselves.
Science
NASA
Alien Life on Mars May Be Hiding Underneath the Planet's Crust