Scientists believe they finally found evidence of ancient life on Mars

The Spirit rover (circled) exploring Home Plate. NASA/JPL-CalTech/University of Arizona

In other words, scientists have come across mysterious structures on the surface of the red planet which were most likely formed by ancient lifeforms inhabiting Mars.

This is probably the news we’ve been all waiting for. Scientists think they’ve finally come across the ultimate evidence that can prove life existed on Mars in ancient times. Luckily, we could even send a rover to explore the site.

Experts from the Arizona State University announced not long ago, that they have discovered potential BIOSIGNATURES on Earth that have ‘fascinating similar features’ to some of the 2007 Spirit rover discoveries on the surface of Mars.

Their report was published in the scientific Journal Nature Communications.

The unusual deposits which have caused the scientific community to reconsider everything we thought about Mars, are made of a substance that is called silica and eerily resembles those found around hot springs on our planet.

The discovery was made on Home Plate, a region located in the 3 to 4 billion-year-old Gusev Crater.

While it is definitely too early to jump to any conclusions, the discovery itself is beyond fascinating and may well prove that in the distant past, Mars was a planet that supported life.

Why is this important? Mostly because these ‘natural wonders’ often preserve tell-tale signs of life known as ‘biosignatures’.

Silica deposits in Gusev Crater (left) compared to those in El Tatio, Chile (right). Ruff/Farmer/Nature
Silica deposits in Gusev Crater (left) compared to those in El Tatio, Chile (right). Ruff/Farmer/Nature

In the recently published paper, Steven W. Ruff and Jack D. Farmer of Arizona State University wrote: “Evidence for silica sinter deposits on Mars is important given the known capacity of such rocks to capture and preserve microbes, making them ideal targets in the search for ancient life on Mars.

“Hydrothermal spring deposits of silica (sinter) have long been targets in the search for fossil life on Mars and early Earth because of their ability to capture and preserve biosignatures.”

NASA’s Spirit rover touched down on the surface of Mars in 2004, a couple of weeks before Opportunity made its way to another part of Mars.

NASA is currently planning on sending a NEW rover to the surface of Mars in 2020. In order to determine where the rover should touch down, NASA has held numerous ‘workshops’ where scientists are presenting their most interesting cases for specific landing sites.

You can check out the newly published study by clicking here.

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