TOPICS IN THIS POST
Space Music: New Tycho, Pye Corner Audio & Meshuggah
Monster of the Week: The Gentlemen
Retrofuturist Flashback: Masterslave Hula Hooping
Retrofuturist Flashback: Rise of the Mobot
Star Wars: Evolution of a Child-Snatching Fan Franchise
The Great Ordeal’s Outside Context Problem
Monster of the Week: Succubi, Ants & Sperm Theft
A Time Before Fire
Space Music: ?ICASEA Select 031, Moons of Saturn
When the Moon Rains Shark Teeth
The Mars Odyssey spacecraft has discovered a curious sight on the red planet’s northern planes: mud volcanoes spurting methane gas and sediment up to the icy surface. Think about that for a second. What do you need to have mud? And what produces methane gas? That’s right, water and animals.
This is not to say the Martian underworld is overrun with jersey cows or giant sand worms. Animals aren’t the only source of methane, but scientists theorize that the gas could indeed be due to thriving microbes several miles beneath the Martian surface. Down there, warmer temperatures could theoretically permit things like mud and life to exist.
This news, reported in a New Scientist article, comes on the heels of a recent geological study on Earth supporting the notion that ancient, subterranean extremophiles might have survived the catastrophic celestial bombardment of the Earths’ crust 3.9 billion years ago.
Of course, theories regarding buried life on Mars might prove particularly difficult to substantiate. We’re pretty sure these volcanoes are spitting mud based on infrared analysis of the material’s rapid cooling following eruption, but the ability to drill miles into the ground is well beyond our current technology.
Look for life on Mars at HowStuffWorks.com: How Will Landing on Mars work? How the Mars Exploration Rovers Work How Mars Odyssey Works How Mars Works Is there really water on Mars?
Print | Citation & Date