Science & Technology
Earthworms can reproduce in Martian soil
By T.K. Randall
November 28, 2017 · 28 comments
It should be possible to grow potatoes and other vegetables on Mars. Image Credit: NASA
The results of a recent experiment suggest that the soil on Mars is likely to be suitable for agriculture.
Scientists in the Netherlands using a Mars soil simulant obtained from NASA have discovered that earthworms are not only able to live in it, but can even reproduce.
The findings indicate that future settlers on Mars should be able to grow their own crops.
"The best surprise came at the end of the experiment when we found two young worms in the Mars soil simulant," said Wieger Wamelink of Wageningen University and Research.
"The positive effect of adding manure was not unexpected, but we were surprised that it makes Mars soil simulant outperform Earth silver sand."
The researchers have also succeeded in growing edible crops in the makeshift Mars soil as well.
"The only species that has resisted our efforts so far is spinach," the team wrote.
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Mars, Soil, Worms
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