General, Research, Technology

Fungi and mold have been found in photographs of Mars. Is it true?

In the first half of May 2021, the internationala group of scientists said that they found signs of life on Mars. The photographs taken by the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers show something that looks like a colony of fungi, lichens, mold or algae - researchers don't know exactly what they are dealing with yet. It was noticed that mysterious formations appear on the surface of Mars in spring, increase in size and disappear with the onset of winter. This is sensational news, but other groups of scientists are in no hurry to rejoice and give an unusual phenomenon a completely different explanation, which destroys all hopes for the discovery of Martian life. Let's examine the assumptions of the researchers and find out why there cannot be mushrooms and algae on Mars? At the same time, we will find out what exactly the rovers managed to photograph.

Scientists think they found mushrooms on Mars, but that could be a big mistake

Potential life on Mars

Many talked about the discovery of life on Marspublications, including the South China Morning Post. The authors of the scientific work shared that in the pictures of Mars they managed to notice mysterious formations that grow, move in space and disappear, in order to reappear later. Some forms of potential life spread over an area of ​​up to 300 meters and disappeared in 3 days. And other formations retained their shape for several months. At the moment, scientists tend to assume that they are dealing with mushrooms, algae, or something else that may grow in the desert area. At the same time, one of the authors of the scientific work, Wei Xinli, emphasized that everything they said so far is just an assumption.

Mysterious formations on Mars really look like mushrooms

See also: How deep can life exist on Mars?

Why is there no life on Mars?

Jonathan Clarke noted that the objects onpublished photographs are in the form of small balls. In his opinion, they are comparable in size to peppercorns and are most likely made from hematite, a common iron mineral that is colored reddish. Most likely, they were formed as a result of the destruction of some large stone. And their movement can be explained by the fact that Martian winds are blowing on them.

It's as if you went to the beach and saw thereseashells. If the wind blows, the sand moves and exposes them. But we're not saying that shells grow and move there? They just become visible from time to time, the scientist explained.

Mysterious objects found on the Meridian Plateau

On top of all this, the geologist drew attention to the fact that the Martian soil does not have enough nutrients for the life of fungi and algae:

They have nothing to eat there. It's like waiting to see a lush garden suddenly sprout in the desert almost overnight.

David Flannery is of the same opinion.(David Flannery), a member of the research team of the Mars 2020 mission, in which the Perseverance apparatus searches for traces of life in the territory of the Jezero crater. He noted that they are indeed looking for life on Mars, but not existing at the moment, but only traces of their existence millions of years ago. The fact is that the surface of Mars is very radioactive and devoid of liquid water. So the detection of living organisms on it is very unlikely.

The Perseverance rover may help solve this mystery

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However, you should not be discouraged in advance.In 2031, the NASA aerospace agency plans to deliver samples of Martian soil to Earth, which may well contain bacteria that can survive in extreme conditions. Regular readers of our site probably already know that the Perseverance rover will collect samples. For some time he will store the samples inside himself, and then another device will fly in for them and take them with him to Earth. More details about how all this will happen, I talked about in this material.