NASA just recently discovered cyclical oxygen on Mars. Is it possible life exists under ground?

9 Answers

Relevance
  • 3 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Oxygen? Big deal. Could be caused by any number of geological processes.

    What's all the hype about life on Mars anyway? Astronomy seems to have hit a brick wall and all that is left is pathetic speculations from nasa et al about boogers existing anywhere there is a whiff of methane, puff of water vapor, or a few molecules of oxygen. Lame isn't it.

    But if you are interested in life, you are in luck, because there are millions of species right here on Earth. No need to get caught up in all the shyte about Mars. You only need to go out into your garden, or take a stroll in your nearest park or forest and there will be plenty of life to admire. Neither nasa or Mars are required.

  • 3 weeks ago

    that is one possibility.  The important thing to note, actually, is that O2 and CH4 (methane) contents appear to vary together, which is not what would be expected if inorganic redox relationships were the cause (normally, O2 causes oxidation of CH4, making CO2 and H2O, so you would tend to only have O2, or CH4, but not both, depending on which was in excess).  this is more or less the reverse of how plant life works, so that is why people are interested and consider it might be a sign of life.  However, it is not demonstrated that there is a process converting CO2+H2O to O2+CH4, rather than some non-chemical process (both could exist frozen in the soil and get released by warming, perhaps).

    There are ways to produce both together by non-biological means, but none that would be expected to occur under the conditions that exist in the near surface of Mars.  They are still puzzling it out.  Gonna have to wait to see what else they can discover to get a clearer answer.

    • It is all reminiscent of the "beacons on Ceres" fiasco from a few years back. As the data unfolded, instead of being "something else" as some people vehemently insisted, the spots turned out to be salt deposits. Maybe there is a lesson for us in that little drama.

  • 3 weeks ago

    "Unexplained" doesn't necessarily mean ET-did-it, nor God-did-it (never in fact).

    Curiosity has found seasonal variations of molecular oxygen ratio in the Mars atmosphere.

    Scientists are considering several hypotheses that could explain the phenomenon:

    - climatic: the cyclic melting of CO2 Icecaps

    - geological process

    - chemical

    - ... and maybe biological

    We'll probably know soon or later.

    Just science is much slower than social media.

    We just cannot just jump to the explanation we like.

    Science doesn't work like that and it needs time.

    Meanwhile, everything is possible, including that life exists underground.

    ... or not.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    fact: it has been know for years that water is abundant on mars as ice and vapor and liquid water still exists underground on mars. liquid water is considered a necessary prerequisite for life to exist so the necessary ingredients are all there.

    fact: researchers applying moore's law to the complexity of dna found in earth life have proved earth's organisms have evolved over a time period twice as old as the solar system itself! that proves life could not have originated indigenously on earth but must have been transported here from some much older region of the universe. there is every reason to believe that the same events which transported the kernels of life to earth also planted life on every body in our solar system. it should be expected that life took root not only here but on every body in the solar system which could support it.

    fact: fossil microbes were discovered in a martian meteorite examined in the 1990s proving that mars once harbored primitive life. one thing we know from studying life on earth is that life will adapt to the harshest, most in-hospital environments nature can throw at it. there is every expectation that the microbe fossils discovered in the meteorite have adapted to mars' current environment and are still thriving today.

    thus there is every possibility and, indeed, a substantial likelihood that the oxygen found on mars is being produced by living organisms. one experiment performed by the viking landers in the 1970s even confirmed such.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 3 weeks ago

    Could be

    Mars has had a 4.5 Billion year history as well as Earth

     And Massive impacts as well from Proto Planets

    Earth about 4.5 Billion years ago, by Theia, and Mars about 2.5 Billion years ago, by unknown

    The Tharsis region is a vast plain filled by Lava, about the size of Texas, so the Obvious Impact Zone

    Enough to take away a lot of the Marian Mass, produce two moons and many Meteorites which have been found on Earth

     Extremophiles are continually surprising us, and what about Tardigrades

     Evolution began on Earth around 3.8 Billion Years ago

     so there was plenty of time in between

    Little Robots can take a scratch and sniff at the surface

    But a Geologist with his chipping hammer could tell the true story

    Imagine finding a Fossil

    Attachment image
  • 3 weeks ago

    The oxygen is nothing new, and the rovers have been doing excavating looking for some evidence of life, extant or extinct. As yet, noting found, so until man can assess a location and do some serious excavating, we won.t know.

    Extant life certainly can't be ruled out, and I wouldn't eliminate something like tardigrades are surviving under the surface where their may be enough water for them to propagate. Given the environment they can survive in, Mars would be quite comfortable for them.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Of course there could be life underground in Mars. That's where the water is, underground. 

    What is cyclical oxygen"? All chemicals go through geochemical cycles including oxygen and water. 

    There are 2 problems. Finding life or evidence for life in or on Mars and CONFIRMING it, and being feasibly certain that WE did not contaminate Mars. Life on Earth MAY have come from Mars. 

    It would help if you cited your source, but that may be taking too much. 

  • Possible, but I'm not sure how that relates to the oxygen cycle which is seasonal. I assume you don't mean intelligent life.

  • 3 weeks ago

    That’s one of a number of known possible explanations. What’s equally interesting is discovering whether there could be other explanations which we’ve never seen or postulated before.

    It’s now looking increasingly likely that Mars once had microbial life. And if it did, it’s also highly likely to still have life today even if it’s now very rare and mostly hidden.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.