Microfossils called Hematites have been discovered in northern province of Quebec, Canada. Laser imaging showed that the may be the oldest form of life ever found.
These creatures are tiny, with a diameter half of a human hair, and up to half a millimeter in length.
There is a debate between scientists on the matter. Some are saying that the rocks these microfossils were found in are 3.77 billion years old, but other say they could be as old as 4.28 billion years.
That would put them on Earth a few 100 million years after the sun and Earth formed, before oxygen was present in Earth’s atmosphere.
The rocks are composed of silica and hematite, an iron oxide, also known as rust.
These environments can be found today near hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean.
The vents would have spewed out the iron oxide, which would nourish the bacteria.
This discovery also provides more tools to use for discovering life on other planets.
On Mars, for example, there is iron oxide all over the place. That’s what gives Mars it’s orange-red colour.
There is also evidence that Mars did have a liquid ocean in the the past. Where there is water, there is the potential for life.
By studying hydrothermal vents here on Earth, we can increase our knowledge of how microfossils are formed, and apply that knowledge to search for evidence of life on other planets.
Earth is not the only place in the solar system with water. In Fact it isn’t even the place in the solar system with the most water.
Life may have already been found, but not identified yet.
By looking at the data that the Mars rovers have collected, it may be possible to answer that nagging question.
Are we alone?
Thank you for reading.