Well that’s unexpected…
MARS’ MAGIC MUSHROOMS Life on Mars shock claim as ‘growing FUNGI’ spotted in Mars Curiosity Rover snaps
A group of scientists claim to have found ‘proof’ of mushrooms growing on the surface of the supposedly barren planet
By Jenny Awford
26th March 2019, 3:15 am Updated: 26th March 2019, 9:07 am
A GROUP of scientists claim to have found ‘proof’ of mushrooms growing on the surface of the supposedly barren planet
In the controversial study, the alien life-hunters say they have seen what appeared to be algae, lichens and ‘Martian mushrooms’ in images taken by NASA rovers Opportunity and Curiosity.
To me, the images look like some muck frothing up as a liquid vaporizes inside of it making a puff ball… but who knows.
NASA has not confirmed or denied that the conclusions drawn by the Journal of Astrobiology and Space Science have any scientific merit.
Many scientists believe that Mars is currently the only planet in the Solar System which has a strong possibility of hosting life.
But the consensus in the scientific community is that if there is life on Mars, it’s probably below the surface.
The new study claims that 15 fungi specimens were photographed by NASA growing out of the ground on the red planet in just three days.
I’ve bolded some bits…
Evidence of Life on Mars?
Evidence of Life on Mars?
Journal of Astrobiology and Space Science Reviews, 1, 40–81, 2019
Evidence of Life on Mars?
Rhawn Gabriel Joseph1, Regina S. Dass2, V. Rizzo3,
N. Cantasano4, G. Bianciardi5
Evidence is reviewed which supports the hypothesis that prokaryotes and eukaryotes may have colonized Mars. One source of Martian life, is Earth. A variety of species remain viable after long term exposure to the radiation intense environment of space, and may survive ejection from Earth following meteor strikes, ejection from the stratosphere and mesosphere via solar winds, and sterilization of Mars-bound spacecraft; whereas simulations studies have shown that prokaryotes, fungi and lichens survive in simulated Martian environments–findings which support the hypothesis life may have been repeatedly transferred from Earth to Mars. Four independent investigators have reported what appears to be fungi and lichens on the Martian surface, whereas a fifth investigator reported what may be cyanobacteria. In another study, a statistically significant majority of 70 experts, after examining Martian specimens photographed by NASA, identified and agreed fungi, basidiomycota (“puffballs”), and lichens may have colonized Mars. Fifteen specimens resembling and identified as “puffballs” were photographed emerging from the ground over a three day period. It is possible these latter specimens are hematite and what appears to be “growth” is due to a strong wind which uncovered these specimens–an explanation which cannot account for before and after photos of what appears to be masses of fungi growing atop and within the Mars rovers. Terrestrial hematite is in part fashioned and cemented together by prokaryotes and fungi, and thus Martian hematite may also be evidence of biology. Three independent research teams have identified sediments on Mars resembling stromatolites and outcroppings having micro meso and macro characteristics typical of terrestrial microbialites constructed by cyanobacteria. Quantitative morphological analysis determined these latter specimens are statistically and physically similar to terrestrial stromatolites. Reports of water, biological residue discovered in Martian meteor ALH84001, the seasonal waning and waxing of atmospheric and ground level Martian methane which on Earth is 90% due to biology and plant growth and decay, and results from the 1976 Mars Viking Labeled Release Experiments indicating biological activity, also support the hypothesis that Mars was, and is, a living planet. Nevertheless, much of the evidence remains circumstantial and unverified, and the possibility of life on Mars remains an open question.
Which also raises the question of who / what “contaminated” the clean room?
NASA fungus problem puts theory of ‘Martian mushrooms’ on toast
Fungus found in the lab makes amino acids we think are alien
By Richard Speed 26 Mar 2018 at 04:02
Festering fungus has become a problem way down in the bowels of NASA, and could lead to false identification of extraterrestrial material.
Research (PDF) presented at the 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference revealed that, in one clean room at least, NASA has a bit of an issue with earthly fungi.
Scientists at the NASA Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation office, which holds samples from the moon, meteorites, and pretty much anything that has come from space, took a closer look at one of their labs as part of a curation initiative.
What they found wasn’t too pretty. The agency’s meteorite receiving lab, for example, may conform to ISO class 6 cleanliness standards, but swabs taken from the floor, a table, the inside of a laminar flow bench used to process meteorites and a nitrogen filter all produced fungal growths.
And not just any funguses, but some species capable of producing amino acids that are usually considered to be extra-terrestrial when found in meteorites.
The team were able to cultivate healthy fungal colonies from environments that had been isolated for as long as 30 years, with the fungal counts in the samples being far higher than those of bacteria and accounting for between 83 – 97% of a Colony Forming Unit (CFU).
So is that “Earthly Fungus” that got into a Class 6 clean room, or is it something that arrived on the space rocks and found the room nicer than the vacuum of space?
That it makes “odd” amino acids is, er, “odd”….
NASA astrobiologist Daniel Glavin, author of a paper concerning amino acids in meteorites told Science magazine that the findings had caused him to rethink his research, with the acids possibly having a more earthly origin.
Armed with this new knowledge, and with missions such as OSIRIS-REx bringing bits of the asteroid Bennu back to Earth in 2023, boffins plan to up their microbial game to make sure fungus from Earth does not get confused with mushrooms from Mars. ®
OK, so he’s going to have a rethink… One hopes that includes looking at these particular mushrooms / fungi and seeing if they actually exist anywhere on Earth… If not, they need to get a bit closer look at that rock collection…
BUT, the big question: Are they any good in an omelette or sauteed with onions in butter next to a big steak? Will Martian Cuisine embrace the Mushroom Burger?