Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Life in Atacama Desert offers hope for Mars

Posted on Tuesday, 27 February, 2018 | Comment icon 1 comment

If there is life here, could there be life on Mars ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 XTSY
Scientists have discovered microbial life rebounding in one of the driest and most inhospitable places on Earth.
Situated along the west coast of South America, Chile's Atacama Desert is so dry that rain may not fall at all for years, sometimes even decades. These inhospitable conditions, coupled with its red, arid landscape, make the Atacama the closest thing on Earth to the surface of Mars.

Now scientists studying the presence of life in this hellish environment have made a remarkable discovery in the form of metabolically active micro-organisms thriving in the arid dirt.

While microbes have been found before in the Atacama, up until now they were assumed to be "dead or dying vestiges of viable cells fortuitously deposited by atmospheric processes."

The newly-found organisms however appear to be thriving, despite the extreme conditions.

"It has always fascinated me to go to the places where people don't think anything could possibly survive and discover that life has somehow found a way to make it work," said planetary scientist Dirk Schulze-Makuch from Washington State University.

"If life can persist in Earth's driest environment, there is a good chance it could be hanging in there on Mars in a similar fashion."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (1)

Tags: Atacama, Life, Mars

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer on 28 February, 2018, 16:01
Should we take/send some of these microbes to Mars and see what happens under controlled conditions?

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Did a mystic predict Putin's rise to power ?
During a meeting in 1979, blind mystic Baba Vanga allegedly predicted that Putin would 'rule the world'.
New study hints at 'Oumuamua's origins
Researchers believe that it is very likely that the interstellar asteroid came from a binary star system.
Ghostly figure filmed aboard the HMS Victory
Tony Ferguson had been visiting the historic vessel in Portsmouth when he caught something strange on film.
Giant yellow inflatable duck goes missing
A swimming club in Australia has appealed for ships to keep a look out for its recently escaped mascot.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Monkeys learn to socialize
Posted 3-18-2018 | 0 comments
These young vervet monkeys must learn to socialize before being released in to the wild.
Why don't birds get frostbite ?
Posted 3-16-2018 | 0 comments
How do birds stop their legs from getting frostbitten during freezing temperatures ?
Most straws in a beard
Posted 3-15-2018 | 2 comments
Kyle Kozemchick stuck 215 straws in to his beard for this bizarre world record attempt.
 View: More videos
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ