Deep-sea rocks on Earth spark new hope for finding life on Mars

Deep-sea rocks on Earth spark new hope for finding life on Mars

by Amanda Kooser, c|net

“I thought it was a dream,” the lead scientist says.

If there is (or once was) microbial life on Mars, it’s been hiding from our robotic explorers. Thanks to a determined scientist, we may have a better idea of how to go about looking for it.

University of Tokyo geomicrobiologist Yohey Suzuki spent a decade examining ancient volcanic rocks culled from the deep sea while on a hunt for elusive bacterial life. He finally found it by peering into the cracks.

“I thought it was a dream, seeing such rich microbial life in rocks,” Suzuki said in a University of Tokyo release on Thursday.  

The rock samples came from several locations beneath the floor of the Pacific Ocean in 2010. The basalt rocks ranged from between 13.5 million and 104 million years old and were formed by undersea volcanoes. 

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