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Hypothesis: there WAS life on Mars Hypothesis: there WAS life on Mars
by Joseph Gatt
2020-08-10 09:14:05
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Mars and Martians in popular culture. Reptile-like humanoids, bipeds with reptile skin. Some have oversized heads (Mars Attacks) while others have triangle-shaped heads and a bent back (E.T.). OK we're not sure E.T. was from Mars but still.

But let's imagine this. This would be my hypothesis, and I could be wrong, just like I could be wrong about everything else.

mar001_400Today Mars is a cold planet (temperatures ranging from 0 degrees Celsius to minus 50 degrees Celsius) and is covered in sand and rock, the kind of sand and rock found in the Sahara desert. But the sand is thicker and drier, and it does not rain on Mars, nor is it clear whether water in any shape or form is found on Mars.

Mars' atmosphere is said to have methane in excess, and the methane prevents Ultra-violet rays from penetrating, which is why the planet is so cold.

But imagine this. Maybe a million years ago. Or maybe 100 million years ago. Or maybe a few thousand years ago. Mars' atmosphere did not have all that excess methane, ultra-violet rays penetrated the planet, and the planet could reach temperatures up to 20 degrees Celsius.

Then, volcanic activity, or other activity that caused an excess release in gas, methane among others, “smothered” the atmosphere, prevented light from penetrating, and all life forms became extinct. The water froze and then dried up. And mars became nothing more than a vast desert covered in dry sand and dry red rocks.

So we could well imagine that before that “nuclear” and “Holocaust-like event” there was indeed life on Mars, maybe 100 million years ago or something.

What was that life made up of? If there were 20 degree Celsius temperatures and if there was water, there were probably life forms in the forms of plants. Perhaps cells. Perhaps larger living beings that could move around the planet. Perhaps reptiles and frog-like creatures. 

And the climate would indeed be ideal for reptile-like living creatures to roam around the planet. How “civilized” were those reptiles? Did they talk? Could they build cars and spaceships? Or like the Raelian sect likes to claim (this is a real religion down here on planet earth that claimed to have cloned a human) perhaps some Martians migrated from Mars to Earth, maybe millions of years ago.

So there were probably plants and reptiles. But to find out, we would have to reach Mars (we haven't quite been there yet) and we would have to analyze rocks and sand to try to find fossils. We would also have to be lucky, because only bones and shells tend to survive in fossils. Also, Mars being quite a large planet (Mars is about 6 times the size of Earth) we would have to explore the entire planet.

Then, we could perhaps use technology to get rid of the excess methane in Mars' atmosphere and send a colony there like in Total Recall. That could perhaps develop water ponds that would enable agriculture. But we're not there yet.

Right now what we need to do is analyze the dust and rocks and sand and try to see if there ever was life, or civilization on planet Mars. Perhaps we could find traces of proteins or other molecules on the planet. Then perhaps we could find fossilized bones of former living creatures.

Or we could find absolutely nothing and assume that there never was life on Mars. Indeed, if life on Mars dried up 100 million years ago, those fossils would be very hard to find, and any trace of bones will have been erased by erosion. But we could get lucky and find rocks where fossils stood the test of time.

Either way, with the current size of our spaceships and engines, we couldn't bring back too much of anything from Mars. A few rocks and some dust is all we could bring back.

We have tried sending rovers on Mars, but the bumpy and dented nature of the planet makes such rovers easy to get lost and break. And those rovers can't pick up rocks and bring them back to Earth.

Point is, fiction, science fiction, and urban legends are not born out of nothing. Those who imagine Martians are on to something. This is just a hypothesis, so don't go crazy on me! But if you want to dig deeper, maybe you'll find that I'm on to something! 

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