The humankind has been concerned with the issue of whether or not different types of species living on other planets exist for centuries. There have been numerous hypothesis and speculation released in this regard, but up to this point, none was officially confirmed. This, however, didn’t stop individuals from questioning whether or not we are alone in the Universe, and when it comes to this question, our neighbor (Mars) is one of the planets that seem to attract most of the controversy going on in this regard. Although there is yet not enough evidence to confirm that living organisms exist on Mars, there’s not enough evidence to confirm that life on Mars is a complete utopia either.
The Martian violent background
We already know that billions of years ago Mars was riddled with lakes, rivers, and even oceans that might have been completely habitable. This is a strong basis that has led many scientists to conclude that four billion years ago, the Martian surface was habited. Many went even further into this and elaborated the hypothesis of life on Earth having its origins on Martian ground.
It is believed by some that life on Earth developed after a number of Martian asteroids hit our planet, and, thus planted the “life seed” on our ground.
However, we know that should life forms ever existed ever on Mars, they have been dissolved once the Red Planet lost its magnetic field, and, subsequently, its atmosphere, phenomena that allowed destructive emanating from the Sun to penetrate its air.
A satellite launched in space by humans helped us understand how these complex phenomena impacted Mars in terms of climate and living conditions.
However, scientist consider the idea that these changes endured by our closest neighbor not necessarily leading it into being a dead planet. Many believe that none of these changes make up strong enough reasons to believe that life on Mars seized to exist, as formulated by Michael Finney, co-founder of The Genome Partnership.
Life hiding underground
Us not having enough evidence to firmly back up the idea of life existing on Mars is definitely not is not a strong enough reason conclude that it is absolutely inexistent, taking into account our limited capacity to thoroughly analyze each aspect of this foreign planet geographically speaking, especially when it comes to aspects which are harder and more complicated to reach.
A hypothesis that has gained increasing attention in the past few years is the one describing the possibility that even though Mars is a dry planet on the surface, water might be found underground.
In consequence, life on Mars could develop in places in which neither humans nor their robots have access to yet. This theory is backed up with evidence, such as the Mars Express orbiter suggesting that there might be a planet underneath the South Pole.
Methane – arguable evidence of life on Mars
Scientists claim that there’s no evidence of Martian life in the Martian atmosphere. However, recent discoveries raise questions in this regard among specialists.
It is commonly accepted that, on Earth, microbes and a number of various organisms produce 90% of the methane existing in our atmosphere.
Analogously, since 2012 when it landed on Mars, NASA Mars Curiosity Rover has been analyzing two plums of methane that were recently discovered. This also helped humans to understand that, on Mars, the baseline methane concentrations go through cycles seasonally in the region concerned. Through comparison, the methane discovered on Mars might indeed be a sign of life existence on Mars, but there’s also a number of other ways to explain its existence.
Methane can be generated by a number of reactions, such as abiotic processes. Even if one could prove that the methane existing on Marsh has its origins in living organisms, this process might’ve happened billions years ago, as scientists sustain that it comes from the underground, which makes it impossible to determine its age.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.