Panspermia explained: life on Earth came from space

People looking for extraterrestrials on Earth probably think of little green men and flying saucers in the sky, but what if they were looking at tentacles in the sea? A recent article states that octopi and other cephalopods have their origin in a different planet, brought here as eggs in some asteroid in the distant past of our planet.

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It's a pretty far-fetched idea, and almost certainly not true, but the idea that life on Earth comes from somewhere else is not as ridiculous as it might seem. The idea is called "panspermia", and although there is not much evidence to back it, it is not impossible either.

Panspermia, broadly defined, is the idea that living organisms or genetic material can travel between the planets of our solar system and even between our solar system and nearby stars.

certain species of bacteria and fungi can survive in the vacuum of space

Some life forms, such as tardigrades and certain species of bacteria and fungi, can survive for long periods in the vacuum of space. An experiment at the ISS found that several microbes survived very well in space for almost two years, and it is almost guaranteed that some species can survive longer. In fact, the microorganisms that survive in space are a problem for NASA that the agency has a & # 39; Planetary Protection Officer & # 39; Dedicated to making sure it does not happen by accident.

Also, we know that part of the material of a planet can end up on another planet. Here on Earth we have a collection of rocks from Mars. Nobody went to Mars to look for them; We find them here on this planet. At some point, an asteroid impact on Mars sent rocks into space and some of them found their way here.

All it would take for life to travel from Mars to Earth, or vice versa, would be for an asteroid to hit a site with some microorganisms, and for these organisms to survive the impact, be expelled into space, several years in orbit around the Sun, and re-enter and land on a different planet. That's enough to kill most things, but there's also the possibility that something is tough enough to survive, even if the odds of such a thing happening are incredibly slim.

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All this is far from saying that octopi are extraterrestrial, which, to put it mildly, is a stretch. Octopi evolved here along with everything else. But that does not mean that the broader theory is completely unfeasible, and it may be worth considering at some point in the future, especially if we can find life elsewhere in our solar system.


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