Fettuccine Discovered On Mars Suggests Life On Neighboring Planet
Is this the moment we’ve all been waiting for? Has life finally been discovered on another planet in our own solar system?
According to some scientists, the answer to that could confidently be a resounding YES!
Fox News reports,
According to a new research paper published in the scientific journal Astrobiology, rocks that look like the Italian pasta fettuccine may be the clearest sign that bacteria, known as Sulfurihydrogenibium yellowstonense, lived on ancient Mars.
“If we see the deposition of this kind of extensive filamentous rock on other planets, we would know it’s a fingerprint of life,” University of Illinois geology professor Bruce Fouke said in a statement. “It’s big and it’s unique. No other rocks look like this. It would be definitive evidence of the presence of alien microbes.”
Fouke added credence to the notion that Sulfurihydrogenibium yellowstonense may have been on ancient Mars, stating that the bacteria descended from other bacteria that lived on Earth approximately 2.35 billion years ago, prior to the oxygenation of our planet.
So how exactly was this supposed to come about? Did the bacteria live on Earth and somehow made it’s way to Mars? I’m not saying it didn’t or couldn’t happen, but how would it have gotten there?
Maybe billions of years ago an asteroid passed by the Earth remarkably close and picked up some of these bacteria along the way and crashed into Mars.
Science Daily reports,
“Taken together, these traits make it a prime candidate for colonizing Mars and other planets,” Fouke said.
And because it catalyzes the formation of crystalline rock formations that look like layers of pasta, it would be a relatively easy life form to detect on other planets, he said.
The unique shape and structure of rocks associated with Sulfuri result from its unusual lifestyle, Fouke said. In fast-flowing water, Sulfuri bacteria latch on to one another “and hang on for dear life,” he said.
“They form tightly wound cables that wave like a flag that is fixed on one end,” he said. The waving cables keep other microbes from attaching. Sulfuri also defends itself by oozing a slippery mucus.
“These Sulfuri cables look amazingly like fettuccine pasta, while further downstream they look more like capellini pasta,” Fouke said. The researchers used sterilized pasta forks to collect their samples from Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.
While this isn’t necessarily “alien life” (that we know of anyway), it’s still a big step in the discovery of life and abnormal conditions that life can exist in.
I’m still going to hold out for the day that some intelligent life is discovered on another planet, hopefully it will be Mars, but who knows because it’s hard enough to find intelligent life nowadays on Earth.
Photo Credit: Meal Makeover Moms