The growing evidence of the presence of salty lakes underneath Martian glaciers raise hopes that, finally, life on Mars might be found. According to the latest hypothesis, those briny waters on the Red Planet might be populated by alien microbes.
In this regard, John E. Hallsworth, a lecturer of Environmental Microbiology at Queen’s University Belfast, believes that there is a precedent right here on Earth that might prove that theory correct. According to him, as the Earth’s salty waters house several species of bacteria, fish, and insects, so can the briny lakes underneath Martian glaciers.
“We know from research on Earth that many microbes can survive in brine. One recent study revealed that communities of such ‘halophilic microbes,’ organisms adapted to live at high salt levels, are diverse and rich in biomass – even when saturated with sodium chloride. A study published in early August this year claimed to have found radar evidence of salty lakes in the Planum Australe region on Mars south pole,” said John E. Hallsworth.
Life on Mars might thrive in the salty lakes beneath Martian glaciers
In general terms, there was water on Mars in the planet’s early history, and the scientists agree on that point. However, Mars looks deserted right now and, despite some recent discoveries that the Red Planet might hold the building blocks of life (organic matter), there is no definite proof that there is (or was) life on Mars.
Now, that the scientists are more and more sure that underneath Martian glaciers there are salty lakes, the theories regarding the potential life on Mars are on the rise.
In this regard, John E. Hallsworthy also added that as there are bacteria, insects, and fish living in briny waters on Earth, on Mars, there could only be microbial life forms due to the lack of conditions to sustain other living creatures.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.