There are so many articles and discoveries surrounding life on Mars. How different is this discovery of a fossil-like matter?
NASA scientists were excited when their curiosity rover alerted the team on finding “sticky-like” figures. The NASA curiosity rover’s twitter account stated that each of these figures was a quarter inch long.
These could be crystals or they could be minerals that filled spaces where crystals dissolved away. This hasn’t officially confirmed by NASA themselves, but rather speculations of researchers and other believers.
It started with a statement by the conspiracy theorist Scott C Waring: “This week NASA rover announced that they discovered stick figures on Mars. However on closer inspection, I find that these are not such childlike figures, but are actually fossilised worms. These have serious paleontological significance that would change how humanity sees the universe forever.”
Then, a researcher – Barry DiGregorio, from Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology – stated that he believes these are trace fossils and that could be the only explanation.
Now, back to school. Trace fossils are signs of past life, either from dead remains of a living creatures or things left behind.
The researcher said, “If trace fossils are on Mars, as I think they are and new Curiosity images show, it moved through ancient shallow marine sediments in a lake in Gale Crater. And like the multicellular life on Earth during the Ordovician, left evidence of its movements through shallow marine sediments. Trace fossils record the movement of soft bodied creatures through marine and mud-like sediments, they are not body fossils.” He claims, “If these are not trace fossils, what other geological explanations will NASA come up with?”
Ashwin Vasavada, the Curiosity project scientist, commented that these images are so tiny – about a millimetre in width – with the longest of the features stretching to about 5 millimetres.
NASA cannot comment on this right now without any further information. Hence they will be sending the rover back to the place to examine them further. It will use its MAHLI, a focusable colour camera mounted on the spacecraft’s arm.
He said, “We certainly won’t jump to conclusion” but has not ruled out the possibility of it being trace fossils either. I’d say that is something. Hope.
What do you think – conspiracy theories or legitimate reason to be excited? Hopefully we’ll find out soon!
For more cool space shiz (I believe that’s the technical term?), check out my article on how humans will react to the news of extraterrestrial life.