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Life on Mars?

Quantum

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As someone who believes that life once existed on mars (And still could) I am delighted with further evidence comes along to support this.

The image below just came in from Curiosity's MAHLI cam, it's a close-up shot of a rock showing features that - at least to me - are reminiscent of fossilized biological life forms. Here's an animated GIF highlighting the more noteworthy shapes and streaks:



These features (especially the whirly thin tube) instantly reminded me of algae: Grypania spiralis was an early form of algae on Earth, here some fossilized remains (for comparison):





Grypania Spiralis

Grypania is an early, tube-shaped fossil from the Proterozoic eon. The organism could have been a giant bacterium or bacterial colony, but because of its size (over one centimeter) and consistent form, is more likely to have been a eukaryotic alga. The oldest probable Grypania fossils date to about 2.1 billion years ago and the youngest extended into the Mesoproterozoic era.

Yet another biological explanation could be that these are "trace fossils" left behind by organisms making their way through the ancient soil, here's an example (from Earth):



Personally, I think these images are unique and I can't remember having seen anything comparable in previous MAHLI images. The twisting and whirling form of these tubes are quite remarkable IMO and the exciting thing is that it's not a single isolated feature but a great many of them on this particular rock (including additional shapes that somehow resemble other primitive organisms known from terrestrial fossils).
 

radioledger

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Art

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I would be very surprised if there were not at least microbial life on Mars at some time in its history and given they now believe there is still liquid water on Mars I think there probably could still be. One of the problems we have is even if we do discover a microbial life form how will we know it was not transported there from Earth on one of the numerous space landings made on that planet. Even if it is different to any known forms this could be because of mutation from the high levels of solar radiation.
 

Calahonda52

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I dont think its beyond the realms of inagination that some sort of life could exist on Mars.
 
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