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Human Origins Story Remains Incomplete with Missing Ancestors

Human origins
Featured image: Image by jplenio via Pixabay, Pixabay License

Human origins remain unclear given studies of known fossils, concludes a new Science review. Today, our last common ancestor with the apes remains unknown as debate rages on for paleoanthropologists.

“The evolutionary history of apes and humans is largely incomplete,” states the review.

The study’s lead author, Sergio Almécija, a senior research scientist in the American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Anthropology, says there’s no agreement.

“When you look at the narrative for hominin origins, it’s just a big mess—there’s no consensus whatsoever,” said Almécija. “People are working under completely different paradigms, and that’s something that I don’t see happening in other fields of science.”

Recommended: Meet Australopithecus anamensis, one of humankind’s oldest ancestors

The Core of the Human Origins Problem

Between about 9.3 million and 6.5 million years ago, it is believed humans diverged from the chimpanzee lineage. Today, chimpanzees and bonobos are our closest living relatives, sharing 99% of our DNA. That’s absolutely fact, although humans still seem intent to destroy our close relative’s natural environments.

Some scientists think there is a missing chimp-like knuckle-walking ancestor that led to hominins. Others suspect it’s more likely an ancestor evolved from a species resembling Miocene apes.

Top-Down versus Bottom-Up 

Taking a “top-down” approach, some scientists study chimpanzees to attempt to reconstruct hominin origins. Others use a “bottom-up” approach, focusing on the fossil record of mostly extinct apes. Now, reconciling these two approaches “remains at the core of the human origins problem,” the study states.

After the review, the scientists believe it’s “likely that the last shared ape ancestor had its own set of traits, different from those of modern humans and modern apes.” 

Therefore, an essential part of the picture remains missing.

Missing Part of the Picture

Study co-author Ashley Hammond says studying living apes isn’t likely to resolve the questions of human origins.

“Living ape species are specialized species, relicts of a much larger group of now extinct apes. When we consider all evidence—that is, both living and fossil apes and hominins—it is clear that a human evolutionary story based on the few ape species currently alive is missing much of the bigger picture,” said Hammond.

In order to unite disparate theories, the study suggests including everything known about hominins, living apes, and Miocene apes in the equation. Importantly, it’s necessary to look at everything to complete the picture.

“Early hominins likely originated in Africa from a Miocene LCA that does not match any living ape (e.g., it might not have been adapted specifically for suspension or knuckle-walking). Despite phylogenetic uncertainties, fossil apes remain essential to reconstruct the ‘starting point’ from which humans and chimpanzees evolved,” states the study.

Darwin’s Theory 150 Years Later

Some 150 years ago, Darwin introduced “In The Descent of Man,” suggesting our origins came from an unknown ancestor in Africa. Today, Darwin’s speculation has been backed up with many discoveries of extinct hominin fossils, but so far, none have proven to be the indisputable missing link. 

Darwin’s evolution studies once led to him being dubbed “the most dangerous man in England,” for upsetting religious ideas. However, he almost became religious clergy himself and at one time believed in the “strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible.” 

Then, an 1831 trip on the HMS Beagle to South America changed his life. After he arrived at the Galapagos, his studies of flora and fauna eventually led to the theory of evolution by natural selection. He presented overwhelming evidence in 1859 in The Origin of Species, criticized by clergy and even some of his own family but supported by important scientists.

Gradually, Darwin’s theory became widely accepted.

See more from Biographics:

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Zecharia Sitchin and the Missing Link

Like Darwin, author Zecharia Sitchin is highly controversial but remains so after his death. Unlike Darwin, Stichin focused on translations of ancient Sumerian and Akkadian clay tablets, with no scientific evidence.

In seven books known as The Earth Chronicles, Sitchin suggested a radical human origins story. Humans were genetically engineered by extraterrestrials called the Anunnaki, who arrived on Earth 450,000 years ago.

“According to Sitchin, an advanced race of human-like extraterrestrials called the Anunnaki live on Nibiru and are the missing link in Homo sapiens evolution,” writes a critical review by Ohio State University.

Like today’s scientists, Sitchin believed human origins began in Africa, where the Anunnaki mined gold. Once they arrived, they genetically altered early humans, creating a suitable slave race for mining operations.

As outrageous as the ideas sound, it’s one idea why the missing link in human evolution remains as of yet undiscovered. If true, our ancestors got a jumpstart, a boost in intelligence by rather unnatural ET selection. However, it would not disprove Darwinian evolution but suggest that human intelligence got an evolutionary boost.

Before his death in 2010, Sitchin urged scientific DNA testing to confirm if his ideas could be true. He was willing to stake his life’s work to determine if extraterrestrials had indeed once lived among humans. However, the testing, thus far, has either not been done or has not been reported. Nevertheless, Sitchin’s work remains fascinating to ancient astronaut theorists.

Until we conclusively discover a missing link, human origins will remain a fascinating mystery. For some, religion and spirituality fill in the gaps, for others, science is the only acceptable method. Perhaps, as the scientists in the recent study believe, solving the mystery will require being open to everything in the picture.

To see more by this author follow The Gamut.

 Featured image: Image by jplenio via Pixabay, Pixabay License

Viracocha, the Non-binary Creator God with Gold Blood

Viracocha, Tiwanaku
Viracocha, the Non-binary Creator God with Gold Blood 4

Viracocha, the sun god, and supreme creator was sacred to the Inca Empire, as was gold. However, gold had no material value but represented Viracocha’s blood and the sweat of the sun.

For the Inca and pre-Inca cultures, Viracocha was a supreme creator who was non-binary, neither male nor female. Believers rarely used Viracocha’s name because of the sacred nature. Instead, the god could be referred to as Ilya (light)Ticci (beginning), and Wiraqocha Pacayacaciq (instructor).

In pre-Incan times, highly developed civilizations in South America were expert goldsmiths. To them, it was part of religious rituals. Unfortunately, this interest in gold led to their downfall after the Spanish conquistadors arrived. To the conquistadors, belief in Viracocha or other gods was heresy to be destroyed.

By 1533,  Francisco Pizarro executed the last Incan emperor, Atahualpa, strangling him after forcing him to melt down Inca gold and convert to Christianity. 

Long after the Incas disappeared, the sacred nature of gold has been all but forgotten. Instead, international Blood Gold (like blood diamond) smuggling operations devastate local communities where gold was once godlike.

An Extraterrestrial with Gold Blood 

To ancient astronaut theorists, Viracocha was an extraterrestrial with gold in their blood. As such, it sounds familiar to stories about the Anunnaki, the highest gods in the Mesopotamian pantheon.

According to interpretations of ancient tablets, extraterrestrials called the Anunnaki arrived on Earth to mine for gold. The pure element could help them save their home planet’s atmosphere. 

“On their planet Nibiru, the Anunnaki were facing a situation we on Earth may also soon face – ecological deterioration was making life increasingly impossible. There was a need to protect their dwindling atmosphere, and the only solution seemed to suspend gold particles above it, as a shield,” Sitchin stated.

Also, theorists believe monoatomic gold unlocked a means to immortality. For example, the ancient Egyptians ingested gold, believing it was the skin and flesh of the gods, quite similar to the Incas.

Thus, the idea of Virachocha’s gold blood is a connection to ancient beliefs across the globe. 

Since ancient times, gold was used as medicine for thousands of years. Today, people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to eat dishes adorned with edible 23-karat gold. Even so, it has no taste or nutritional value. However, it’s not known what, if any, value ingesting gold or nanoparticles of gold would have. 

See more ideas about why extraterrestrials mined gold below from Igor Kryan:

Viracocha and the Anunnaki

Where did Viracocha come from? The god was sometimes described as wearing a beard, although generally the god’s face remained hidden behind the mask.

In some cases, Viracocha is referred to as an old bearded man with a long robe and staff. Thus, the depiction is wizard-like. Notably, the beard could also be seen as a symbol of water gods. Indeed, Viracocha translates to “Sea foam.”

According to some accounts, the god emerged from Lake Titicaca near the ancient site of Tiwanaku, home of the portal-like Gateway of the Sun.

There, a monolithic sculpture that may be Viracocha resembles a bearded Anunnaki. Its appearance draws connections to similar sculptures found across the world, such as Turkey and Easter Island.

Viracocha sculpture at Tiwanaku
Viracocha sculpture at Tiwanaku via YouTube

However, the Gateway of the Sun depicts Viracocha standing powerfully with a rod in each hand, surrounded by 48 winged chasquis, or “god messengers.” Certainly, they draw a comparison to biblical angels and watchers from the Book of Enoch.

What do these staffs represent? Perhaps, it’s some kind of technology used to move the massive stones?

See the Gateway of the Sun from KuriaTV:

Nearby, below the Gateway, a series of alien-like stone heads adorn an enormous wall. Possibly, each head represents a different alien or human race. Indeed, one looks remarkably like modern depictions of a gray alien.

You can see the sculpture of Viracocha below from Brien Foerster:

Viracocha and Akhenaten 

To the Incas, the official religion was a sun cult, as in Egypt when Pharaoh Akhenaten created the first monotheistic state religion. 

For Akhenaten, the Aten sun disk was the creator of all nature, and he was the earthly representation. Meanwhile, the Inca worshipped the Inti Sun deity, second only to Viracocha, the creator of all nature and mankind. 

The alien-looking Akhenaten ruled for 17 years between 1353 B.C. and 1335 B.C. by conventional timelines.  Like Viracocha, Akenaten’s gender appears non-binary in many ancient depictions. Again, the similarities are noteworthy.

When the Chanca attacked, emperor Viracocha fled with his eldest son. Then, younger brother Pachacuti, with help from a mirrored sun disk, called on the god Viracocha to help him make a stand. 

In comparison, Viracocha may have entered the Inca pantheon under emperor Viracocha, who took the god’s name. 

According to legend, Viracocha responded to Pachacuti, creating an army of levitating stone soldiers called Pururaucas to defeat the Chanca invaders. Nearby, at the Puerta de Hayu Marca, legend holds that Incan priest-king Aramu Muru used a sun disk to open a portal and disappear.

A Flood and Promise to Return One Day

Believers said that Viracocha created the land and sky at Lake Titicaca. In some versions of the story, Viracocha created a race of people who were giants. However, they displeased the god, and they flooded the world to destroy the giants. Thus, we have a familiar flood story similar to the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Nephilim in the Bible.

After creating the Sun, Moon, and stars, Viracocha wandered the world to teach humans how to build civilization. Certainly, if Viracocha could roam around the world, it could explain why there are similar stories in places like Egypt and ancient Sumeria.

Finally, Viracocha departed across the Pacific but promised to return one day. In the meantime, the sun, Inti, and moon, Quilla would keep watch.

Perhaps one day, Viracocha will reappear, and the mysteries of the god’s powers will be revealed. If so, will we finally know why so many creation stories around the world are so similar?

Featured image: Wiracocha via Wikimedia Commons by Voir les informations sur l’auteur. Domaine public with Représentation du dieu Huiracocha à la Porte du Soleil de Tiahuanaco by Arthur Posnansky via Wikimedia CommonsDomaine public with screenshot via YouTube

Mustatils in Saudi Arabia: Gates for Animal Sacrifice to Unknown Gods?

Screenshot 2021 05 06 144118

Over a thousand “mustatils,” ancient rock formations in Saudi Arabia, are now the earliest ritual landscape structures ever identified. Researchers date them around 7,000 years old. Thus, they may be over 2,000 years older than Stonehenge or the oldest Egyptian pyramids. Three years ago, the researchers announced discovering 400 mustatils but now we know there are hundreds more.

Although it’s not certain, they suggest that a Neolithic cattle cult sacrificed animals inside the formations. Possibly, the cult dedicated an offering to a deity associated with cattle. However, the god or gods in question are unknown. 

Rock art in the area showed depicted cattle hunting and herding. The artwork provides some context at a time when writing wasn’t yet invented. About 900 years later, archaeological evidence of a cattle cult in the south of Arabia has been found, say the researchers.

Mustatils Located with Google Earth

In northwest Saudi Arabia, mustatils are widespread and numerous, scattered over 77,000 square miles. However, we’re only now finding out after an aerial survey funded by the government. According to LiveScience, Google Earth, and aerial imaging helped in the discoveries.

“These structures can now be interpreted as ritual installations dating back to the late sixth millennium B.C., with recent excavations revealing the earliest evidence for [a] cattle cult in the Arabian Peninsula,” a team of researchers wrote in a paper published April 30 in the journal Antiquity

Mustatil translates to “rectangle” in Arabic, but some mustatils also incorporate circles. Others look like a capital letter I with stones built up at each end.

Possibly, some circular shapes were built later than the rectangular walls in some cases. Previously, researchers reported finding “kites” used to hunt animals built over the older gate structures.

Notably,  some mustatil groupings look like rows of keyholes with a circle at one end and a widening quadrilateral shape. (see video below)

In some cases, a niche at the “head” of the mustatil was created of larger stones. Inside this niche chamber, ancient animal bones have been found in at least one case

Rather than belonging only to cattle, the bones come from cattle, sheep, goats, and gazelle. Therefore, finding such animals in the now arid desert suggests it used to be a more lush, hospitable place.

See the video by LiveScience below:

Long, Narrow, Short Gates

At first glance, one wonders if these structures were designed to be seen from the air, like the Nazca Lines in Peru. 

Since the walls are under 1.6 feet tall, it’s unlikely they served as cattle pens. However, archaeologists call them “gates,” and they can be 1,500 feet long, over four times the length of an NFL football field. (360 feet)

In just one mustatil, the researchers estimated ancient people moved over 12,000 tons of basalt stone. By their estimates, it would take dozens of people months to complete just one structure.

For some reason, the ancient people grouped the mustatils in some places, perhaps only using them once. In some cases, the structures are in prominent locations, while others they seem almost hidden.

Recommended: This Ancient Egyptian Labyrinth is home to 24 megalithic, highly-polished boxes that weigh 100 tons

Orthostat Standing Stones

In some examples, an upright orthostat stone is found in the central chamber.

” Archaeological work indicates that some of the mustatils had a chamber in the center made of stone walls surrounding an open area with a standing stone in the center,” reported LiveScience.

Thus, the mustatils contain some of the oldest ritual standing stones in the world.

Given the long, narrow formations, researchers suspect that people walked along the narrow entrance in a single file to the head, where they offered the sacrifice, similar to worldwide ancient standing stones.

Recommended: The Lady of the Stars, goddess of love, music, and drunkenness who nearly wiped out the human race

Created on Volcanoes

Strangely, some mustatils are found on the slopes of volcanoes in the Harret Khaybar region. Although such sites are barren today, it’s possible the area was more vegetated thousands of years ago.

In some instances, lava flows covered some of the gates, suggesting they predated the flows. Whatever the case, it’s all very mysterious.

“We are not quite sure why they were constructed on volcanoes,” said the study director, Hugh Thomas. “Perhaps, by placing some of these structures on prominent landscape features like volcanoes, they may have been used as landscape markers or perhaps territorial markers denoting pastoral grazing areas for specific groups,” Thomas said.

Hopefully, further study will reveal more details about why ancient people created so many mustatils. Who knows what else will be discovered by pouring over images from Google Earth?

For more work by this author, follow The Gamut.

See more about the mustatils via PatrynWorldLatestNews:

Featured image: Screenshots via YouTube

Grass and Other Organisms Add New Leaf to Darwinian Evolution


Grass can take an “evolutionary shortcut,” swiping genes from neighboring species to get an advantage. That’s what University of Sheffield researchers found out in a new study. Thus, some grasses are naturally genetically modified. However, they are doing it all on their own, without carcinogenic chemicals. 

Researchers found “mysterious gene transfer” in both wild and cultivated types of grass.

“Grasses are taking an evolutionary shortcut by borrowing genes from their neighbors. By using genetic detective work to trace the origin of each gene, we found over 100 examples where the gene had a significantly different history to the species it was found in,” said senior author Dr. Luke Dunning.

By “stealing” genes through lateral gene transfer, lowly grass gets an edge on other species. For gardeners worldwide, it all makes sense now. After all, grass seems to thrive under just about any conditions – unless you want it to grow. 

Grasses Hack the System

By studying the history of each grass gene, the researchers found hundreds originating from distantly related species.

Thus, some grasses can hack the system, “supplementing their genetic information with stolen genetic secrets,” writes Phys.org. 

By obtaining genes from neighboring plants, they become adaptable, grow faster and stronger.

Somehow, the grasses can even take advantage of specific genes. However, scientists don’t yet know the biological mechanism involved. Notably, some of our most common crops may be doing it regularly.

“Whilst only a relatively small proportion of genes are transferred between species; this process potentially allows grasses to cherry-pick information from other species. This likely gives them huge advantages and may allow them to adapt to their surrounding environment quicker,” said Dunning.

If an ordinary grass can re-engineer its genome, it certainly paints human gene manipulation in a humble light.

Natural GMOs

Fortunately, the grasses in the study are those humans depend on most for food: wheat, maize, rice, and barley. By studying how the plants naturally change, scientists hope we can apply it to naturally modify crops. 

In particular, grasses with a rhizome appear more likely to engage in gene swapping. A rhizome is a modified stem running underground like a root that stores nutrients. Along the rhizome, nodes can send new roots down into the soil. 

Unfortunately, many plants with rhizomes are invasive, and part of a rhizome can grow a new plant asexually (including poison ivy).

A New Leaf to Darwinian Evolution

As the University of Sheffield researchers point out, grass doesn’t fit traditional Darwinian evolution. Rather than pass genes from parent to offspring, grass can “steal genes” from neighbors. Thus, they bypass natural selection.

Consequently, no sexual reproduction is involved. Furthermore, gene modification appeared to be widespread.

See more about how Darwin came up with the Theory of Evolution from the BBC below:

How Does Grass Do It?

For now, scientists are stumped about how grass modifies its genes.

“Foreign DNA was detected in the genomes of 13 of the 17 grasses sampled, including crops such as maize, millet and wheat. The million-dollar question is, how are these genes moving between species? In truth, we don’t know and we may never know for certain as there are several potential mechanisms and more than one may be involved,” wrote Dunning.

Perhaps, the rhizomes are rubbing up against neighboring plants, resulting in “root fusion,” they suggest. Notably, a similar transfer of DNA was observed in grafted tobacco plants.

By studying the phenomena, scientists may find ways to modify valuable food crops. Importantly, this may come just in time as we confront climate change.

Other Organisms Do it Too

Although the grass’s abilities are rare in other plants and animals, other lifeforms can do it: 

  • Bacteria
  • Aphids
  • Mushrooms 
  • Whiteflies

If fungi can share the genetic instructions, one wonders if this can transfer to the mycorrhizal fungal highways that connect life in the forests?

In other instances, animals can incorporate algae into their bodies, rendering them photosynthetic. One species of aphid became solar-powered, producing carotenoids other animals require from plants.

Recommended: Venomous Humans Could Evolve Due to Common Ancestor with Reptiles

See more from Dunning lab:

Featured image: Darwin by WikiImages via Pixabay, Pixabay License with wheat by NickyPe via Pixabay, Pixabay License

The Obsession With Mars: Is It Our Ancestral Home Planet?


This year, Mars has been in the headlines as NASA, world governments, SpaceX, and billionaires focus on arriving on the Red Planet. Mars is an absolute obsession, as “Mars mania marches on,” notes National Geographic.

But why? By all accounts, Mars is a cold, desolate desert. One could travel to the Atacama Desert in Chile and get a much more survivable Mars-like experience. What’s the draw to Mars exactly? Is it, as NatGeo suggests, that we merely don’t want to be alone in the universe?

It’s as if humans have a built-in drive to get to Mars. Given the dangers, one would think we might focus more and saving the environment here on Earth. Clearly, we need to.

However, Elon Musk has said he is determined to voyage to the Red Planet by 2026, despite the dangers. One day, he hopes to establish a self-sustaining Martian civilization.

Tuned In to Mars

Many species on Earth have the instinctual urge to return to their birthplace. To get there, they are capable of extraordinary feats of navigation and endurance.

According to ancient astronaut theorists, life on Earth may have originated on Mars billions of years ago. Now, we are hardwired to want to go back, even in its current desolate form. Although things look bleak, nothing will stop us from getting to Mars.

Some 4 billion years ago, Mars was more Earth-like, but it lost its magnetic field for unknown reasons. Then, the solar winds stripped the planet of its atmosphere. To escape, perhaps life traveled to Earth or seeded life via organic molecules on Martian meteorites.

Remarkably, there might be a physiological sign that Mars could be our original homeworld. 

“When astronauts actually go into space, their circadian rhythms, their body clocks change from 24 hour days to a 24.9 hour day; and that happens to be the exact rotational period of a single day on Mars,” says the author Michael Bara. 

Thus, Bara suggests it’s evidence humans going to Mars may be returning there after thousands of years. 

Notably, in many people, the circadian rhythm is closer to 24 hours, 11 minutes. On Mars, a day is about 24 hours and 40 minutes.

Here on Earth, humans’ “body clock” may tend to cycle between 24.2 to 24.9 hours. With exposure to sunlight and a routine, it tends to stay synchronized to the 24-hour day. So, are night owls behaving more like a Martian? 

See the clip from Ancient Aliens Season 16 below:

Humans and ETs on Mars?

It sounds unreal, but some say astronauts and extraterrestrials currently have a base on the Red Planet. A few months ago, Haim Eshed, the Israeli space security chief for 30 years, claimed a secret underground base on Mars exists. There, American astronauts and ETs work together and have for years.

Of course, mainstream media may dismiss Eshed as crazy immediately, but we remain open-minded. After all, mainstream news is now routinely reporting on authentic UFOs.

Long, Ago, Eshed claims that the US government signed an agreement with extraterrestrials. If so, it might coincide with the stories about President Eisenhower in the mid-50s. According to Philip Schneider, a structural engineer with a high-level security clearance, Eisenhower made a pact with three alien species. (Schneider later died under highly suspicious circumstances.) 

Regardless of whether these stories are true or not, a Martian base is inevitable. According to Nick Pope, former UFO investigator for the UK Ministry of Defence:

“I think the next few years are going to be absolutely pivotal in Mars research. We are seeing mission after mission and mission, and again, we might wonder, why?” said Pope.

As humans venture out into space, we’ll need a base. 

“Is it because when humanity expands out into the cosmos, we are going to have to have a planetary base? Mars is a good place for that,” Pope continued. 

A Martian Base

Certainly, it’s common sense that humans would need a base, and what would be better than our closest neighboring planet? 

Similarly, former Air Force weather observer and contactee Charles Jame Hall claims there has long been an agreement with the government and “Tall White” ETs.

In exchange for exoplanets to colonize, the Tall White extraterrestrials wanted help building bases for their occasional use, claims Hall. 

Notably, Eshed suggested that the common use of spacecraft may be the milestone when ETs deem humanity worthy of further contact.

Recently, researchers published a study that enormous lava tubes on Mars would make suitable temporary hideouts for astronauts. Similar tunnels on the Moon may also serve as protection from radiation. Perhaps, astronauts may find life is already taking shelter there? If not American astronauts and ETs, then more likely, some extraterrestrial extremophile microbes.

A ( Deadly) Voyage to Mars

Today, NASA is partnered with SpaceX, which beat out two other private companies to win a $2.89 billion contract to get astronauts to the Moon. If successful, it will the first time NASA astronauts will walk on the Moon since 1972. Eventually, NASA hopes to fly people as well as supplies and materials to the Moon and beyond.

Effectively, NASA shifted both the cost and risk to the private space-flight company.

Recently, SpaceX founder Elon Musk made some interesting comments on Earth Day 2021. A casual and barefoot Musk spoke with Peter Diamandis, who is launching a competition with a $100 million prize. The XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition is the largest incentive prize in history to tackle the biggest threats facing humanity on Earth: climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. 

“Going to Mars reads like that advert for Shackleton going to the Antarctic. You know it is dangerous, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s a long journey,” said Musk.

Then, Musk suggested dying for the glorious adventure would all be worth it. Certainly, that’s easy to say if he’s not aboard the spacecraft.

“You might not come back alive, but it is a glorious adventure, and it will be an amazing experience. 

“Yeah, honestly, a bunch of people will probably die in the beginning.”

“It’s tough going over there.”

See the full interview from Tesla Intelligence UK below:


Terraforming Mars

Today, Mars is barren, but there are plans to terraform the planet. Perhaps, it will return it to its more Earth-like conditions from the distant past.

If Elon Musk has his way, the planet could be warmed by exploding nuclear bombs over the Martian polar ice caps. Then, the radiation created would escape into space, he suggests.?

One almost sees a pattern of recklessness.

Otherwise, scientists have ideas to redirect comets or asteroids to hit Mars. So, maybe it’s not so crazy? For ancient astronaut theorists, such an idea may have been carried out by extraterrestrials in Earth’s past. 

In short, Mars’ current state is the opposite of Earth today. While we have too much carbon dioxide due to our activities, the Red Planet doesn’t have nearly enough to create beneficial global warming. It’s too bad we can’t export our excess CO2 to Mars, though it still wouldn’t be nearly enough. 

Currently, NASA’s Perseverance Rover’s MOXIE experiment aims to change what little CO2 there is on Mars to oxygen. Since the amount would be so small, a more feasible plan may be to export oxygen-creating extremophile microorganisms from Earth. Some 2.5 billion years ago, it was similar cyanobacteria that created our oxygen-rich atmosphere.

Unfortunately, NASA determined in 1976 that using microorganisms to create a breathable atmosphere might take thousands of years. Moreover, since Mars has lost its magnetic field, it would be a lost cause anyway.

Therefore, the first problem is fixing Mar’s magnetic field. But how?

Mar’s Magnetic Field

Interestingly, according to the Planetary Society:

“While we don’t have the technology to churn the core of a planet faster to revive its magnetic field, NASA’s Chief Scientist Dr. Jim Green and his colleagues have theorized that a magnetic field placed at point called L1 between the Sun and Mars, where their gravities roughly cancel out, could in theory encompass Mars and protect it from the solar wind.”

Currently, Green says scientists can already place a weak field at the stable Sun-Mars L1 Lagrange point. (2,000 Gauss) So, if they can figure out how to make the magnetic field stronger ( more like 10,000 Gauss), it could work.

Again, talk about saving the Martian atmosphere harkens back to the ancient astronaut theory. To save the atmosphere on their home planet, the Anunnaki came to Earth to mine for gold. Then, they used the gold in some unknown way to protect their atmosphere. Perhaps, they were creating a protective magnetic field? Maybe it’s not so far-fetched after all?

See more about Lagrange points from Spacedock:

Martians Returning Home

If all went well, then Mars might become more Earth-like again. However, due to the lower gravity, conditions would likely be similar to living in the Himalayan mountains. Think: cold with thin, oxygen-low air.

Interestingly, there are signs of lost ancient cultures in the Himalayas here on Earth. Likewise, Martian conditions in the higher altitudes of Chile seem to coincide with frequent UFO reports.

Maybe, just maybe, the ETs found conditions there just perfect. 

Considering everything, it seems like a better bet to restore the environment here on the Blue Planet before we head on over to the Red one. Nevertheless, seeing astronauts on Mars seems inevitable in our quest to find other life in the universe.

As when we arrived on the Moon, humans will become the extraterrestrials, if not Martians returning home. 

Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube

The Hopi Star Children Here to Restore a World Out of Balance


Many Native American tribes like the Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo believe extraterrestrial beings visited Earth. Often, we see depictions of Star Beings on ancient petroglyphs. 

Lesser known are the stories about Star Beings, who mated with human women, and the Star Children. After raising the children to the age of six, the people from the sky returned. Then, all traces of the Star Children disappeared. However, in other cases, Star Children remained to live their lives as tribal elders.

Hopi Star Children Left Behind

According to Brian Burkhart, a professor of American studies at California State University:

“The stories of Star Children are quite common in native culture. There can be quite a variety of forms of that sort of thing as well. But typically, there’s a star and a human being joined together and a child is born from that union,” Burkhart says.

When the child reached age six, the tribe knew the visitors from the sky could return for them. If not, they would sometimes become tribal elders, even at a young age.

According to author Logan Hawkes, who wrote Ancient Aliens of the Americas:

“…some Star Children are left behind to become interwoven into the tribe. A lot of them later in life become elders, even at a very young age. And, that’s because they are believed to carry the ability or the knowledge to heal the Earth,” says Hawkes.

See Burkhart and Hawkes below via HISTORY:

Koyaanisqatsi: A World Out of Balance

According to the Hopi legend, the Star Children are here to repair the Koyaanisqatsi, which means a world out of balance or “life of moral corruption and turmoil.”

“The Hopi believe the Earth is out of cantor. It’s not balanced any longer, and it’s the Star Children who live among the Hopi who advise even the elders on how to put the Earth back into balance again,” says Hawkes.

The Arrival of the Blue Star

One day, the Star Children will prepare people for the arrival of the Blue Star, a house in the sky, and the Kachina, a spiritual messenger. For Ancient Astronaut theorists, it’s a reference to the return of the extraterrestrials.

The Hopi name for the star Sirius is “Blue Star Kachina.”

According to a Hopi Elder named White Feather of the Bear Clan, the Blue Star is a “dwelling place in the heavens” that crashes to Earth. Afterward, the Kachina, the Saquasohuh, will remove his mask during a sacred dance in the village plaza.

Immediately, the arrival of the Kachina will mark the end of the Fourth World.

Ancient Origins notes the Kachina is “analogous to angels in the Christian religion.” Following this event, a period of war, destruction, and purification will lead to the beginning of the Fifth World. Then, the survivors will finally live in peace and harmony with Mother Nature. 

The Hopi Origin Story

As you may know, the Hopi and other Pueblo peoples believe they emerged from life underground. Then, when it was safe to go back to the surface, they met Maasaw, the planet’s caretaker.

At that moment, the caretaker instructs the people to care for the Earth, a gift to humankind. 

Thereafter, the tribe dispersed across the planet to find the “Center Place.” Interestingly, as the tribes migrated in different directions, they left a spiral petroglyph behind to mark where they traveled.

As they cared for the planet, they were to watch for a great sign in the sky. When the tribe saw the symbol, it would mark the Center Place. One day, they arrived in the American Southwest after seeing a bright light in the sky.

Now, awaiting the Blue Star Kachina, it seems as if the cycle will repeat, or perhaps has yet to happen in the future?

See the story illustrated by PBS below:

Recommended: The Ant People legend of the Hopi Native Americans and connections to the Anunnaki

The Hopi Prophecy Rock

Vernon Masayesva, Hopi Elder, discusses the Prophecy Rock, a petroglyph near Oraibi, Arizona.

“The predominant population of the races have embraced a materialistic path,” says Masayesva. “It has no heart. It’s all science and technology.”

When the Hopi emerged from the ground and entered the Fourth World, the farmer Maasaw taught them to follow the spiritual path.

“On that Prophecy Rock, the material path ends abruptly,” says Masayesva. “The spiritual path just keeps going.”

Interestingly, the petroglyph features three circles, but one remains incomplete. The Hopi elder says the incomplete circle represents World War III, which has already begun.

“So Maasaw’s path is now being disrupted by the warfare that’s going on, and now by global warming that mankind are creating.” 

Now, he says that there is still hope for a better future.

“I believe the path of science and technology can still be intertwined with the mystical path, a spiritual path, mythical path,” he says. “I think it can be intertwined as they were intertwined from the beginning when science and mythology was intertwined and they separated.”

You can see Elder Grandfather Martin Gashweseoma discuss Prophecy Rock below from KnewWays:

The Sacred Nature of Water 

As we reach the end of the Fourth Age, the elder says he sees hope in the form of sacred water, an indestructible living spirit. 

“We’ve been doing this for thousands of years. We believe water reacts to our energy, to our emotions, to our prayers.”

Today, he believes water is the bridge to unite science and technology with a harmonious way of life if used “the right way.” Instead of letting technology control our lives, people must come together as one race to restore harmony and love.

“Now I think, through water, water is the bridge…it will bring us back together again and I see a lot of hope in that,” he says.

Recommended: Scientists Catching Up to Ancient Beliefs in Remote Viewing

Starseeds in an Eternal Cycle

To receive enlightenment, humans must understand that it’s a fact that we are connected to every living thing, the cosmos, and the universe. We are all Starseeds and what we think and do affects everything.

Today, our cynical, materialistic world teaches us to mock such notions as naive or foolish. However, the wise realize the truth: what we do to the Earth, every life form, and each other matters.

Interestingly, Masayesva says that the recent advances in understanding the quantum world are “what Hopi always taught. We are part of the hydraulic cycle. We are intertwined with nature.”

Although Western science holds that we’re separated from nature, from water, Masayesva says we are “a very important part of that cycle.”

When we die, we go to the sixth direction, the cosmos sea, home of the Cloud People. Perhaps, another dimension?

After a period of rest, we return to the sea and the neverending cloud cycle.

Related: Russia’s Indigo Child: A reincarnated soul from Mars with fascinating knowledge baffles scientists

See Hopi elder Vernon Masayesva discuss the messages from the Ancients below:

Featured image: Composite of screenshots via YouTube/HISTORY

Sky Woman: The Overlooked Iroquois Influence on America

Iroquois Sky Woman

Today, the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) culture teaches kids from birth about the Sky Woman, Mother Earth, and Grandmother Moon. The tribes instill a deep abiding respect for women who continue to uphold the Tree of Peace. 

What’s seldom taught in American classrooms is how the Iroquois Constitution, the Great Law of Peace (Gayanesshagowa) influenced our democracy and Constitution. Moreover, their way of life influenced the fight for women’s equality.

Thus, the Iroquois played a vital role in establishing our system of democracy. Today, atop the Capitol Dome, a statue inspired by Native Americans stands overseeing all, like a Sky Woman.

The Statue of Freedom

Since 1863, a bronze sculpture of a woman wearing a fur-trimmed robe has proudly stood atop the U.S. Capitol Dome. She’s called the Statue of Freedom, created by American sculptor Thomas Crawford. Sadly, the sculptor went blind and died suddenly at age 44, shortly after completing the plaster model from Rome, Italy. 

On the statue’s pedestal, the Nation’s motto, E Pluribus Unum, “out of many one,” is written. On his deathbed in 1857, Crawford named her America. However, she came to be known as Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace.

After many design changes, Crawford settled on a headdress influenced by “the costume of our Indian tribes.” Atop her head, there is a nine star-studded Roman helmet with “an eagle’s head and a bold arrangement of feathers.” Some see the eagle as a reference to the ancient Annunaki, often depicted with an eagle head on a human body.

Ironically, a master craftsman and slave named Philip Reid helped cast the 20-foot tall statue dedicated to freedom. Fortunately, the year of her installation on the Capitol Dome, Reid was a free man. In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. So, Reid went into business for himself as a plasterer. (see video below)

The plaster model for the statue is at Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. 

See more from Today I Found Out:

Recommended: Scientists On How Trees Talk Through an Ancient ‘Otherworld’ Network

The Iroquois Constitution

America’s way of life owes inspiration to the Iroquois’ unwritten democratic Constitution, as well as ancient Greco-Roman times and other influences. 

Since the 16th century, the Iroquois Confederacy, a group of Six Nations, has been governed by its principals. The tribes included the MohawkOneidaOnondagaCayugaSeneca, and Tuscarora. In the past, the tribes lived across New York and Canada.

The Tree of Peace

After warring with each other for decades, the Six Nations came together to live in harmony between 1570 and 1600. An Oneida story called The Tree of Peace discussed how the leaders put their weapons aside under a giant White Pine tree

Afterward, a governing Great Council of chiefs began meeting together in a longhouse. By oral tradition, the leaders planted a white pine after founding the Great Law of Peace. Today, this practice of planting peace trees continues.

For example, in 1988, Jake Swamp, a Mohawk chief of the Iroquois Grand Council, planted a pine that stands near the First Bank of the United States in Philadelphia. 

At the ceremony, Chief Swamp said:

“Many years ago, man depended on his own judgement and strayed away from the original instruction, giving birth to greed, jealousy, warfare and destruction.” 

The Chief called for a return to humanity’s roots, for “when the creator made the world, he intended people to always live at peace with one another.”

White pine
image via nationalparkservice, nps.gov

Recommended: Scientists Catching Up to Ancient Beliefs in Remote Viewing

Benjamin Franklin and the Iroquois 

Much earlier, at the Albany Congress between June 19 and July 9, 1754, Benjamin Franklin presented his Plan of Union, a federation of 13 British colonies and alliance with the Six Nations chiefs.

It was the first official attempt to “develop inter-colonial cooperation among the colonies,” notes American History Central.

Franklin hoped to secure the Iroquois alliance for trade, treaties, and land purchases and unite the colonies against French imperial forces and their Native American allies. 

In attendance, representatives of the Indian nations and colonies listened as he discussed the Iroquois. Franklin chided the colonists, who often wrongly considered Native Americans as ignorant savages.

‘It would be a strange thing,” Franklin said, “if six nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming such a union, and yet it has subsisted for ages and appears indissolvable, and yet a like union should be impractical for ten or a dozen English colonies.” 

After Franklin introduced the plan, commissioners who attended the Congress adopted the final version on July 10. However, King George II and the colonial governments rejected it. Nevertheless, the document would later influence portions of the Constitution.

Peace Turns to War

Over two decades later, the Continental Congress attempted to make peace with the Iroquois, claiming to want peace.

According to the National Park Service:

“In July of 1775, the Continental Congress prepared a message for a meeting in Albany, NY with the Iroquois Nation of New York, requesting that the powerful Iroquois Confederacy remain neutral in the war between the colonists and Great Britain. Part of their message reads, ‘Brothers! We live upon the same ground with you. The same island is our common birthplace. We desire to sit down under the same tree of peace with you: let us water its roots and cherish its growth, till the large leaves and flourishing branches shall extend to the setting sun and reach the skies.'”

Unfortunately, as we all know, there would be no alliance or peace. Soon, the colonists claimed Iroquois land and many were killed and forced to depart for British Canada to survive. Nevertheless, the ancestors of the tribe continue to teach about living in peace and harmony with each other and nature.

Resolution to Recognize Iroquois Contributions

In 1987, at the 200th anniversary of its Constitution, Resolution 331 was introduced in the House of Representatives. The resolution formally recognized the Iroquois contributions to democracy.

“Whereas the original framers of the Constitution, including, most notably, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, are known to have greatly admired the concepts of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.”

Notably, the resolution states clearly that the Iroquois’s democratic principles became part of the Constitution.

“Whereas the confederation of the original Thirteen Colonies into one republic was influenced by the political system developed by the Iroquois Confederacy, as were many of the democratic principles which were incorporated into the Constitution itself.”

Congress approved the resolution introduced by Representative Morris K. Udall in October 1988.

The Sky Woman and North America

In Iroquois culture, women have long enjoyed equal status to men, owing to beliefs such as the Sky Woman.

One version of the Iroquois creation story tells of a floating world where the immortal Sky People lived. A luminous tree gave light to the island.

As the story goes, the Sky Woman’s husband became enraged when she told him she would give birth to twins. In his rage, he ripped out the tree, creating a hole. Sky Woman fell to Earth through the hole but was rescued by animals. A Little Toad gathered mud in its mouth, which the other animals spread across the land.

On the blue planet, creatures of the seas already existed, and birds rescued Sky Woman, who stepped onto North America, which appeared like a giant turtle. From there, she created the stars, Moon, and Sun.

Giorgio A. Tsoukalos explores Sky Woman’s story on the In Search of Aliens, “The Founding of America.” A question asked is how the Native Americans could have known that North America resembled a turtle before the outline was known.

Turtle Island

Image via Facebook/Ollin.caInspiring Young Minds to Learn 

Creation and Destruction

Later, Sky Woman’s twins, Sapling and Flint, began creating other lifeforms on the planet. The twins had a rivalry, and Flint tried to conquer all of Sapling’s creations.

While Sapling created nurturing, beneficial life for humans, Flint was destructive. Thus, he created everything harsh: winter, thorns, and monsters, which Sapling drove underground.

In the end, Sapling and thus life on Earth won out. Defeated, an angry Flint went to live in a volcano on Big Turtle’s back.

Without the animals, Sky Woman may have perished, and today the Iroquois hold respect for all living things. It’s a way of life that modern society is finally beginning to recognize and appreciate. 

Notably, Sky Woman’s story bears similarities to other creation stories, such as the Cosmic Tree of Life and World Turtle. Today, many indigenous tribes still call North America Turtle Island, and the White Pine is the symbol for the Iroquois Constitution.

Below is another version of the story via New World Histories:

Women’s Equality and the Iroquois

In the Six Nations Confederacy, women had an equal say to men in government and family life. If men were disrespectful to their marriages, they could be divorced, and the woman could keep her property and children.

Furthermore, Iroquois women had equal responsibilities in spiritual ceremonies and controlled the land, which they cultivated.

Moreover, the Clan Mother led the women in choosing the tribe’s Chief (sachem) to represent them on the Grand Council. In matters of war, the women had an equal say and could withhold food to men who went against their wishes.

Women’s rights suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony were amazed to learn about the equality that Iroquois women held. Suffragette Matilda Joslyn Gage wrote articles about the Haudenosaunee in the New York Evening Post and other New York papers. Thus, they inspired a generation of people to strive for women’s equality.

Below, Brenda LaForme, Cultural Interpreter at the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, NY, discusses women’s roles in the Haudenosaunee culture.

As she notes, if a Chief abused women, the women in the tribe could remove him from power, an act called “dehorning” the leader. Today, women in the tribe help ensure survival and cultural ways, always upholding the Tree of Peace.

Image by Annaser via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) and by dbking via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Venomous Humans Could Evolve Due to Common Ancestor with Reptiles


Scientists have learned that venomous humans could one day become real. The headline elicits the response, “Aren’t they already venomous?” For example, watching politicians talk, one gets the idea that malevolent reptilians may be in government positions today. At this point, who would be surprised?

But seriously, it goes back to our ancient past, when humans and reptiles shared a common ancestor. 

Today, there are thousands of venomous animals, both reptiles and a few mammals. For example, shrews and some moles are venomous. Unlike many venomous snakes, mammals have venom that is watery, dilute, and profuse. 

“… salivary tissue of most mammals produce large volumes of very dilute mixtures, while snake venom glands produce highly concentrated mixtures of diverse toxins,” the scientists from Japan and Australia wrote.

After the scientists studied thousands of genes associated with venom production, they discovered that the same genes and physical mechanisms were at work in saliva glands and venom glands.

So, while humans currently don’t secrete venomous proteins, in time, we could do so. However, snakes are far more highly evolved in that regard, with potent venom used sparingly.

Related: Researchers Find A 100-Million-Year-Old Baby Snake Preserved In Amber

Human Bites – Already Dangerous

Even without venom, a human bite is dangerous, as you may have learned the hard way as a child. The Mayo Clinic states a human bite may be more dangerous than an animal bite due to bacteria and viruses always present in our mouths. 

Often, people bitten by a person will require a tetanus shot. So, the need to evolve venom seems a redundant step.

On the other hand, there are ample ancient stories of human-snake hybrids, and the word “venom” may be derived from Venus, the Roman goddess of love. (Greek Aphrodite) Her charms to arouse became synonymous with poison.

The Latin venemum, meaning “magical charm, potent drug,” later became “deadly substance, poison.”

“The ‘poison’ meaning appears in Old French in the form venim, which Middle English borrowed as venim or venom. Oh, Venus, you wily goddess you. Makes you wonder just what she’s thinking in that seashell pic,” writes Merriam-Webster.

As we all know well, some may already be poisonous in the art of love.

Venomous Humans That  Hibernate

Recently, scientists also learned that humans might have the capacity for hibernation as well. In the distant past, early human beings probably hibernated, according to research into their fossilized remains. It all goes back to our mammalian ancestry.

Thus, Neanderthals once hibernated alongside cave bears to avoid harsh winters. However, that doesn’t mean they were particularly good at hibernation, as evidence by signs of seasonal malnutrition and disease.

Today, doctors can induce a state of torpor while patients undergo surgery. In the future, our capacity to hibernate may make it possible for our species to escape Earth on long voyages into space. It’s a subject of 1968’s Sci-Fi classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, that recently drew attention due to monoliths appearing all over the place.

We Owe Our Spines to Ancient Mud Gulpers

When you consider how humans are distantly related to other species, it makes you wonder what other traits we could evolve? After all, we have many distant relatives. Going back further, we trace our ancestry to creatures lurking in the oceans.

Some people owe their spines to these creatures, while other people are apparently still working on it. You just know it’s the spineless folks who are more likely to become venomous.

Millions of years ago, creatures that looked like the Roomba of the seas moved about on the seafloors. Armored bottom-dwelling fish called osteostracans (meaning “bony shields”)  gulped mud with no jaws some 400 million years ago. Inside, they had a primitive bony internal endoskeleton.

Thanks to those humble beginnings, scientists think we developed bones and vertebrae, serving like batteries of energy that made it possible to slither onto land awkwardly.

Moving about in shallow waters where ocean waves crashed, bones possibly helped them withstand the surf.  As an added benefit, the resulting energy reserves allowed them to explore and eventually move to land. From there, evolution led to amphibians, reptiles, birds, and venomous mammals.

See the osteostracans from PBS Eons below:

Earliest Distant Relatives

Going back even further, you can see a simulation of what may be one of our earliest recognizable ancestors, Pikaia gracilens, an extinct small chordate animal from the Middle Cambrian period, “time of ancient life.” It looks like a gliding eel with a primitive forerunner of the backbone called a notochord, a flexible supportive rod. 

The period from over 500 million years ago marked a burst of evolutionary changes called the “Cambrian Explosion.” 

It’s all a bit humbling but also a critical lesson in how all species are very much interconnected and dependent entirely on each other. May we learn this lesson before we evolve into venomous humans.

Featured image by SarahRichterArt  via PixabayPixabay License

Massive Lava Tubes on Mars and the Moon Could Shelter Astronauts


Lava tubes on Mars could provide shelter for astronauts, according to a new study. Earlier studies have suggested the same could apply to the Moon.

An Army Intelligence Officer and Combat Veteran turned Ufologist and Astrophysicist, Antonio Paris, and other researchers have published a study suggesting astronauts could live in relative safety underground on Mars. 

Astronauts may arrive on Mars sooner than we think, with missions beginning in the 2030s. However, human survival would be impossible without shelter from cosmic radiation. Unlike Earth, Mars has no atmosphere to protect life. 

In areas where the ground has caved in, scientists have seen expansive structures that could serve as “ready-built” homes, reported BGR. 

Enormous Lava Tubes on Mars and the Moon

There is evidence of enormous lava tubes near Mar’s surface up to 1,000 times wider than lava tubes on Earth. In some cases, the tubes could be longer than 25 miles, reported CNN in 2019. Here on Earth, similar structures range from 33 to 98 feet in diameter. They can be found in Hawaii, Australia, Iceland, and the Canary Islands. 

Furthermore, the Moon may have lunar caves that reach one kilometer in diameter. To give you some idea, this would be large enough to hold the tallest buildings on Earth. A study coauthor that year suggested all of Padua, Italy’s city center, could fit inside a lava tube on the Moon.

Lava Tubes on mars
Image via YouTube/NASA

Moreover, the study authors suggested astronauts could access lunar lava tubes and that they might hold water ice reservoirs.

“Lunar tubes on the moon and Mars could be longer than 25 miles, according to a new study using satellite images, radar data, spacecraft observations of features called skylights belonging to collapsed lava tubes, and digital terrain models of lava tubes on the moon and Mars,” reported Ashley Strickland.

Scientists discovered the lava tubes after spotting “skylights,” holes that revealed the caverns beneath. In the distant past, asteroid impacts created the skylights, revealing the recesses beneath.

Unlike on Earth, low gravity conditions may prevent the huge caves from collapsing. Since the tubes provide shelter from micrometeorites and Radiation, they could serve as niches for hosting life.

Since 2012, the European Space Agency’s CAVES and Pangaea programs have trained astronauts how to explore underground caves safely.

See more about how these lava tubes form from NASA:

Martian Caves Could Block 80% of Radiation 

In recent years, Paris and the researchers studied analogous lava tubes on Earth in Mojave, CA, El Malpais, NM, and Flagstaff, AZ. After taking radiation measurements inside and outside the tubes, they compared the findings to what is known about Mars. 

“It’s not a perfect comparison since we don’t know the exact properties of the lava tubes on Mars, but the researchers suggest that Martian caves could block over 80% of the radiation coming down from space,” reported BGR.

Although radiation would remain higher than on Earth, it could make long-term missions possible.

The Hellas Planitia on Mars

As part of the recent study, Antonio Paris and the other researchers chose to focus on the Hellas Planitia in Mars’ southern hemisphere. 

Its name translates to “Greek plain.” NASA notes the area is “one of the largest impact craters in the solar system.”

Recently, scientists found evidence of an ancient river system in the area. In 2017, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter found strange “squiggles” on the surface, possibly the “result of this dry ice breaking apart into blocks.”

“The crater inside Hellas has been filled with material, which may be related to volcanic activity on the basin’s northwestern rim. It also might be related to the presence of water and water ice. However, there is evidence elsewhere that the ground here is rich with ice,” states the NASA website.

At the Hellas Planitia, there is less cosmic and solar radiation, reports Popular Mechanics. 

Paris believes the site may be ideal for astronauts to seek shelter. Also, he says the lava tubes would be an ideal spot to search for any signs of ancient microbial life.

Today, NASA’s Perseverance Rover is exploring the Jezero Crater, north of the Martian equator. So, it won’t be exploring the Hellas Planitia, unfortunately. In the meantime, Paris is hoping to travel to the Moon. 

As an interesting (and bizarre) sidenote, recently, former Israeli space security chief Haim Eshed stated there has long been “a secret underground base on Mars, where there are American and alien representatives.” Notably, Eshed was head of Israel’s space program for nearly 30 years and is a three-time recipient of the Israel Security Award.

So, who knows what might be down there in the lava tubes on Mars and the Moon?

Related: Megaflood on Mars: Another Sign of Life on the Red Planet

More about the Hellas Planitia via Amaze Lab:

Featured image: Image by Pexels via PixabayPixabay License

German Cave Reveals Clues About the First Domesticated Wolves


Scientists have found new important clues about the first domesticated wolves and dogs.

A small cave in Germany contained numerous ancient canine fossils. They could point to a possible origin of all modern dogs. However, researchers stress this remains open to debate and further evidence.

Dogs are considered the oldest domesticated animal in human history well before humans transitioned from hunter-gatherers to agriculture around 10,000 years ago.

Gnirshöhle Cave

A small cave called Gnirshöhle in the Hegau Jura region of southern Germany contained a wealth of canine fossils. Some date back to between 17,000 and 12,000 years old.

Thus, they predate other ancient canine fossils found in Europe by 3,000 years.

Scientists conducted DNA analysis on the fossils, which included dogs, wolves and fox remains. The fossils revealed clues about the animals’ diets. Humans were apparently feeding the canines a low protein diet.

Dr. Chris Baumann of the University of Tübingen said:

“We linked the morphology, genetics, and isotope characteristics, which led to the discovery that the examined bones originated from numerous different genetic lineages and that the new genomes sequenced from the samples cover the entire genetic range from wolf to domestic dog.”

Previous studies have found domesticated canines in two places: Asia and Europe. Eventually, dogs from Asia migrated with humans, largely replacing the western domesticated wolves.

Researchers discuss the study below:

Early Site of Domesticated Wolves

The study suggests that the Hegau Jura was a “potential center of early European wolf domestication.”

“The current research is unable to end this debate, but the genetic diversity discovered in southwestern Germany does suggest the early humans who live there tamed and reared animals from various wolf lineages,” write Science Alert.

By studying the dog and domesticated wolf haplotypes, the authors traced the last common ancestor. Amazingly, this ancestor existed 135,000 years ago in the Pleistocene. Could this suggest a possible “upper limit” for the first domestications?

Experts have long suggested that the first dogs may have diverged from wolves as long as 100,000 years ago. However, it’s generally agreed the first domesticated dogs emerged about 16,000 years ago in Europe and Siberia, reports Science Alert.

Obviously, there’s a big stretch between 100,000 and 16,000 years. Thus, much remains to be learned about domesticate wolves.

Siberian Wolf Hybrids

So far, the oldest found fossil considered a possible dog ancestor comes from Siberia and dates to 30,000 years ago. 

Found in a cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, the fossil resembled a wolf’s teeth with a shortened dog’s snout, a hybrid wolf. DNA analysis found the skull most closely resembled Tibetian MastiffsNewfoundlands, and Siberian Huskies.

However, scientists suspect the Siberian dog might have gone extinct due to advancing glacial periods 26,000 years ago. Thus, independent domestication elsewhere may have ultimately led to the dogs we know today. On the other hand, a Siberian animal could have migrated instead of going extinct.

In 2019, a Siberian man found a perfectly preserved Ice Age wolf head in the permafrost of the Arctic region of Yakutia. The head was 40,000 years old and may have been a subspecies that went extinct along with the mammoths. Judging by the head, it may have been 25% bigger than today’s wolves.

See more from Bloomberg Quicktake: Now:

Dogor the Prehistoric Puppy

Also in 2019, researchers exploring Yakutsk, Siberia found a perfectly preserved 18,000-year-old puppy. 

Scientists were baffled by the specimen, which they named Dogor. Interestingly, DNA tests could not show whether the animal was a dog or a wolf. 

“We have a lot of data from it already, and with that amount of data, you’d expect to tell if it was one or the other. The fact that we can’t might suggest that it’s from a population that was ancestral to both – to dogs and wolves,” researcher David Stanton told CNN.

Due to climate change, more prehistoric creatures are being found in the permafrost all the time.

See more from Amazing Facts:

Oldest Undisputed Dog Fossil

The oldest undisputed dog fossil dates back to 14,000 years. It’s called the Bonn-Oberkassel dog found near Bonn, Germany. In 1914, workers found a grave that contained a puppy, a woman, and a man. It was the oldest known grave where humans and dogs were buried together, dating to the Paleolithic.

Analysis of the grave indicated the puppy was well-cared for. Thus, it became one of the first examples of early pet-human bonding.

Evidence suggests humans were caring for the sick puppy for weeks, which may have died from canine distemper.

Ancient Singing Dogs

Recently, we shared the story about the rediscovery of wild New Guinea Singing Dogs. Although considered extinct, DNA testing revealed the dogs were surviving in Papua New Guinea. For years, residents considered them feral strays. Hiding out in the rugged highlands of the island, they remained elusive.

New Guinea Singing Dogs are cat-like and sing with vocalizations compared to whales.

The dogs have genomic variants different from all other dogs today. Singing Dogs could be relatives of Australian dingoes and Asian dogs that humans brought to Oceania around 3,500 years ago.

New Guinea Singing Dogs may share a common ancestor with the Akita and Shiba Inu breeds.

As you can see, the story of how domesticated wolves led to modern dogs is highly complex. As you might expect, given our bonds today, ancient humans and canines developed tight bonds in many places.

Now the question is, did people first domesticate wolves, or did they decide to tame us?

Featured image: Image by Thomas Bohlen via Pixabay, Pixabay License

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