Science & Technology
No, COVID-19 is not an extraterrestrial virus
By T.K. Randall
March 21, 2020 · 5 comments
No, the coronavirus did not travel to Earth from another world. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Scientists have moved to debunk the claim that the coronavirus fell to Earth on a comet or asteroid.
The fight to tackle misinformation about the pandemic that is currently sweeping the world is at times proving almost as difficult as fighting the virus itself - especially given that social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have made it very easy for even the most 'out-there' theories to get noticed.
One particularly oddball idea was recently put forward by Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe of the Buckingham Center for Astrobiology who suggested that the virus may have been unleashed over China by a meteor that exploded over the country back in October 2019.
He also implied that other outbreaks in the past may have also started the same way.
Suffice to say however, his theory has been met with a significant degree of skepticism.
As things stand, there is no evidence that the coronavirus (or any other virus) came from space and nor is there any evidence that any virus could remain viable after such a trip.
"It's one of those cases where extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," astrobiologist Graham Lau told Space.com
. "Even though it's an interesting idea, we just don't have any reason to embrace that idea right now."
"I think it's important for scientists to point out pseudoscientists or bad science."
"If this was real, it'd be great, but we just can't allow ourselves to jump to the feel-good conclusion without doing our due diligence as scientists."
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