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Mars, Comets, and the Cambrian Explosion: The Interplanetary Transfer of Life

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Life-bearing meteors, asteroids, comets and frozen bodies of water which had been ejected from Mars or other planets via bolide impact may have caused the Cambrian Explosion of life on Earth 540 million years ago. Reviewed in support of this theory are historical and worldwide reports of blood, gore, flesh and a variety of organisms raining from clear skies on warm days along with freezing rains and ice and sometimes embedded in ice and which a 2008 report in the International Journal of Astrobiology linked to comets and celestial events. Numerous reports have documented, within meteors, fossilized organisms resembling fungi, algae, and diatoms. In 1880 specimens resembling fossilized crinoids, corals and sponges were identified within an assemblage of meteorites that had fallen to Earth and investigators speculated that evolution may have occurred in a similar fashion on other planets. Russian scientists have reported that mosquito larvae, the majority of seeds from a variety of plants, and fish eggs and embryos from crustaceans develop and reproduce normally after 7 to 13 months exposure to space outside the ISS and could travel to and from Earth and Mars and survive. Investigators have identified specimens on Mars that resemble stromatolites, bacterial mats, algae, fungi, and lichens, and fossils resembling tube worms, Ediacarans, Metazoans and other organisms including those with eyes and multiple legs. McKay speculated that evolution may have taken place more rapidly on Mars and experienced a "Cambrian Explosion" in advance of Earth. Eight hundred million years ago an armada of asteroids, comets and meteors more numerous and several times more powerful than the Chicxulub impact, invaded the inner solar system and struck the Earth-Moon system. It is highly probable Mars was also struck and massive amounts of life-bearing debris was cast into space. Genetic studies indicate the first metazoans appeared on Earth 750 to 800 million years ago soon after this impacting event. Given the relatively sudden "explosive" appearance of complex life with bones, brains, and modern eyes, as well as those that were bizarre and quickly became extinct, and given there are no antecedent intermediate forms and that previous life forms consisted of only 11 cell types prior to the Cambrian Explosion, the evidence, in total, supports the theory that life on other planets and Mars may have been transported to Earth 800 million years ago and contributed to the Cambrian Explosion.
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Mars, Comets, and the Cambrian Explosion:
The Interplanetary Transfer of Life
Rhawn Joseph1,2, David Duvall1,3
Abstract
Life-bearing meteors, asteroids, comets and frozen bodies of water which had been ejected from Mars or
other planets via bolide impact may have caused the Cambrian Explosion of life on Earth 540 million
years ago. Reviewed in support of this theory are historical and world-wide reports of blood, gore, flesh
and a variety of organisms raining from clear skies on warm days along with freezing rains and ice and
sometimes embedded in ice and which a 2008 report in the International Journal of Astrobiology linked
to comets and celestial events. Numerous reports have documented, within meteors, fossilized organisms
resembling fungi, algae, and diatoms. In 1880 specimens resembling fossilized crinoids, corals and
sponges were identified within an assemblage of meteorites that had fallen to Earth and investigators
speculated that evolution may have occurred in a similar fashion on other planets. Russian scientists have
reported that mosquito larvae, the majority of seeds from a variety of plants, and fish eggs and embryos
from crustaceans develop and reproduce normally after 7 to 13 months exposure to space outside the ISS
and could travel to and from Earth and Mars and survive. Investigators have identified specimens on
Mars that resemble stromatolites, bacterial mats, algae, fungi, and lichens, and fossils resembling tube
worms, Ediacarans, Metazoans and other organisms including those with eyes and multiple legs. McKay
speculated that evolution may have taken place more rapidly on Mars and experienced a “Cambrian
Explosion” in advance of Earth. Eight hundred million years ago an armada of asteroids, comets and
meteors more numerous and several times more powerful than the Chicxulub impact, invaded the inner
solar system and struck the Earth-Moon system. It is highly probable Mars was also struck and massive
amounts of life-bearing debris was cast into space. Genetic studies indicate the first metazoans appeared
on Earth 750 to 800 million years ago soon after this impacting event. Given the relatively sudden
“explosive” appearance of complex life with bones, brains, and modern eyes, as well as those that were
bizarre and quickly became extinct, and given there are no antecedent intermediate forms and that
previous life forms consisted of only 11 cell types prior to the Cambrian Explosion, the evidence, in total,
supports the theory that life on other planets and Mars may have been transported to Earth 800 million
years ago and contributed to the Cambrian Explosion.
Key Words: Cambrian Explosion, ice meteors, red rains, interplanetary transfer of life, life on Mars,
Comets, asteroids, meteors, Ediacarans, metazoans, fossils.
1. Astrobiology Research Center, California
2. Cosmology.com
3. Department of Zoology (Emeritus) Oklahoma State University, USA
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Comets, the Cambrian Explosion, and Life Falling from the Sky
If a planet “comes into collision with another body, comparable in dimensions to
itself, be when it is still clothed with vegetation, many great and small fragments
carrying seed and living plants and animals would undoubtedly be scattered through
space. Hence and because we all confidently believe that there are at present, and have
been from time immemorial, many worlds of life besides our own, we must regard it
as probable in the highest degree that there are countless seed-bearing meteoric stones
moving about through space... is it not probable, that the beginning of vegetable life
on the Earth is to be similarly explained? ...life [has actually] originated on this Earth
through moss-grown fragments from the ruins of another world... Every year
thousands, probably millions, of fragments of solid matter fall upon the Earth—
whence came these fragments? What is the previous history of any one of them? ...all
creatures now living on earth have proceeded by orderly evolution from some such
origin.” --Lord Kelvin (William Thomson) Presidential Address to the British
Association for the Advancement of Science; Edinburgh, 1871
Until around 540 million years ago the most complex life on Earth had no eyes, bones or brains,
and consisted of only 11 cell types despite 4 billion years of evolutionary history. And then there was an
“explosion” of life in every ocean of Earth, with every major phyla appearing in a period of 5 to 20
million years in the absence of any intermediate forms (Erwin & Valentine 2013). As first discussed by
Duvall and Joseph in 1972 and formally proposed by Joseph (2000), and as detailed in this report, life
from other planets ejected by impacting bolides and encased in mountains of debris and oceans of frozen
ice may have caused or contributed to the Cambrian Explosion. In support of that theory and as
discussed and reviewed here, is (A) evidence of parallel evolution on Mars and at least one other planet
leading to specimens nearly identical to fossilized Cambrian era fauna; and (B) for thousands of years
there have been numerous reports of various organisms including living and dead larva, insects, fish,
frogs, blood, flesh, gore and other biological debris that have fallen from the skies often associated with
ice and which a 2008 report in the International Journal of Astrobiology directly attributed to ice-
meteorites and passing comets.
Extraterrestrial Origins of Life on Earth and Mars
There have been suggestions that life began on Mars via abiogenesis (a Martian “organic soup”)
and spread to Earth around four billions years ago (Brenner 2013; Kirschvink & Weiss 2002). Life has
most likely hitchhiked back and forth from Mars and Earth. However, abiogenesis in this solar system is
improbable given everything we know about the complexity of a single cell, DNA and its nucleotides
(Crick & Orgel 1973; Dose 1888; Hoyle 1974, Joseph & Schild 2010; Joseph et al. 2020a; Kuppers
1990). Based on complex quantitative genomic analysis it has been determined that it would take trillions
of years to fashion the first nucleotides and the first gene (Crick 1981; Hoyle 1982; Yokey 1977).
Beginning with the first complete gene it may have taken an additional 7 to 14 billion years of gene-
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duplicative events to fashion a minimal life-sustaining genome (Anisov 2010; Jose et al. 2020a, Joseph &
Schild 2020; Joseph & Wickramasinghe 2011; Sharov 2006, 2009, 2010). DNA, its nucleotides, and the
first genes and genome have an ancestral genetic history that precedes by billions of years the
establishment of this solar system and life on Earth.
The instructions for the generation, development and evolution of all life is encoded within DNA
(Crick 1981; Watson et al. 2013). Genetics and this ancient genetic ancestry supports the theory that the
first life to colonize this solar system also contained the genetic instructions for the evolution and
metamorphosis of all life on Earth, Mars and other planets (Joseph 1997, 2000; Joseph & Schild 2010;
Joseph & Duvall 2021). DNA not only replicates itself but replicates life that evolved on other, more
ancient worlds. The alternative explanation is that it is the nature of DNA to produce diversity and
progressively complex and intelligent life such that evolution progresses similarly on similar worlds
(Joseph & Duvall, 2021). Either explanation would explain the geobiological and biochemical evidence
of life on Earth (Manning et al. 2006; Mojzsis et al. 1996; Nemchin et al. 2008; O'Neil et al. 2008) and
Mars (McLean et al. 1996. 2009; Thomas-Klerpta et al. 2009) over 4 billion years ago; and the
construction of thrombolites, microbiolites, microbial mats and stromatolites--most likely by algae and
cyanobacteria the first surviving evidence of which is dated 3.7 billion years ago on Earth (Garwood
2012; Nutman et al. 2016) and Mars (Noffke 2015), structures that continued to be constructed for
billions of years thereafter (Bianciardi et al. 2014, 2015; Elewa 2021; Latif et al. 2021; Joseph 2014;
Joseph et al. 2019, 2020b,c; Rizzo & Cantasano 2017; Ruff & Farmer 2016).
These Earth-Mars parallels continue with the oxygenation of the atmosphere and oxidation of
minerals, metals and the surface leading to a Great Oxidation Event around 2 billion years ago on Mars
(Joseph & Schild 2021; Lammers et al. 2003), and Earth, and then to the evolution of organisms similar
to terrestrial acritarchs (Kaźmierczak 2016, 2020) sponges (Joseph et al. 2020), tube worms (DiGregorio
2018; Baucon et al. 2020; Joseph et al. 2020), Ediacarans and legless eye-less metazoans (Elewa 2021;
Joseph et al. 2020a,c); all of which have been fossilized and discovered in various regions of the Red
Planet and the dried lake beds of Gale Crater, Mars.
Given Earth-Mars parallels in the onset and evolution of life it is likely both planets were
“genetically seeded” with life-bearing debris from other planets beginning in the protoplanet stage and
during the great bombardment that ended 3.8 bya (Adams & Spergel 2005; Worth et al. 2013; Joseph
2000, 2009; Joseph et al. 2020a; Valtonen et al 2008), and intermittently thereafter continuing into the
present (Arrhenius 1908; Beech et al. 2018; Belbruno et al. 2012; Joseph & Schild 2010; Joseph &
Wickramasinghe 2011; Joseph et al. 2020a; Kelvin 1871; Gladman et al. 2005). Moreover, life may have
been repeatedly transferred between Earth and Mars and other worlds (Arrhenius 1908; Joseph & Schild,
2010; Joseph et al. 2019, 2020a; Schulze-Makuch, et al. 2005; Valtonen, et al. 2008) including just prior
to and during the “Cambrian Explosion”--which explains why similar organisms evolved and were
fossilized on both planets.
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Figure 1. (top) Ediacaran fossils from Earth. (bottom) Ediacaran fossils from Mars (Joseph et al 2020ab).
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Figure 2. Martian Organisms? Discovered in Gale Crater, Mars, by Joseph
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Cambrian Explosion: Extraterrestrial Origins
Beginning around 540 million ago and during the “Cambrian Explosion” complex animals and all
the major phyla appeared in the oceans of Earth, including organisms with shells, bones, brains and
modern eyes, without any evidence of intermediate forms when all previous organisms consisted at most
of 11 cell types (Erwin & Valentine 2013; Joseph 2000). As hypothesized by Mckay (1996) and
theorized by Joseph and Duvall (2021), compared to Earth, evolution, leading to a “Cambrian Explosion”
may have occurred at a more rapid pace on Mars and other habitable planets, many of which are 6 billion
years older than Earth (Bourrier, et al. 2017; Campante et al. 2015). If true, then what is the likelihood
that some of these Martian organisms--and their DNA-- were transferred to Earth, and if so when?Most
likely around 800,000 years ago, via impact by an armada of meteors (Joseph & Duvall, 2021; Joseph et
al. 2020).
As first hypothesized by Duvall and Joseph in 1972, and then formalized as the astrobiological
theory of “evolutionary metamorphosis” (Joseph 1997, 2000, 2009, 2010, 2013) viruses, bacteria and
complex life including early “Cambrian” era fauna may have been deposited on Earth from space,
embedded within meteors, asteroids, comets and oceans of ice that had been ejected from another world.
Rather than re-explain the reasoning as per the extraterrestrial origins of the Cambrian Explosion, we will
instead quote from the formal originating published source of this theory (Joseph 2000):
COSMIC HITCHHIKERS AND THE CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION
"Diverse forms of Earth-based-life can live and flourish in boiling, frigid, and seemingly
"poisonous" environments that typify interstellar space and other planets. Sulfur-eating
microbes, for example, might find Jupiter to be a most inviting planet. Given that cosmic
collisions are common with all manner of debris ejected into space, living things on one
planet could easily be transferred to other worlds, including planets in other solar systems
and other galaxies--as even galaxies collide.
Some of these creatures may well have been cast into space only to eventually land on
Earth, where they then began to multiply and to genetically engineer the environment and
their own metamorphosis. The changing environment acts on gene selection and activates
silent genes, giving rise to forms precoded into the genome--the majority of which is silent
and has not been expressed.
This cosmic hitchhiking scenario is even plausible for more complex creatures. For
example, seeds and living creatures such as algae, fungi, and even arthropods, are capable
of surviving temperatures below freezing. Psychrophiles (e.g., micro-algae, fungi) have
been found thriving in ice waters 20 degrees below zero and in frigid deep ocean trenches,
under tremendous hydrostatic pressures. Highly developed animals, such as krill,
brittlestars and Notothenioids, spend their entire lives in the bone chilling waters of the
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frozen Antarctic.
Many creatures (including even complex multicellular plants, insects, and animals, such
as insects, frogs and lizards) can also live in a dormant form and withstand otherwise life
neutralizing conditions. Indeed, the capacity of so many simple and complex multi-
cellular creatures to thrive or at least continue to live in a dormant state even under
environmental extremes, may well account not only for the interplanetary origin of life on
Earth, but to the sudden emergence of at least some of the complex species during the so
called "Cambrian Explosion." In other words, even complex animal life may have been
deposited on Earth from outer space, including, perhaps at least some of the "bizarre" life
forms that emerged during the "Cambrian Explosion."
Specifically, until around 600 million years ago, just prior to the Cambrian era, the vast
majority of life forms sojourning on Earth consisted of single celled organisms and simple
multi-celled creatures composed of less than 11 different types of cells and possessing,
perhaps, a modicum of neural-like tissue. And then there was a sudden explosion of
complex life, including rather "bizarre" life forms that appeared simultaneously and multi-
regionally throughout the oceans of the Earth...
Many of these exceedingly complex Cambrian creatures possessed the basic anatomy
common to all subsequent forms of sea life, whereas yet others were exceedingly bizarre
in appearance and later or almost immediately died out. More importantly, this complex
array of life appeared throughout the world within a 5 million year time frame in the
absence of any evidence for antecedent, intermediate, ancestral evolutionary forms...
The emergence of all manner of complex life in the absence of any evolutionary
evidence of antecedents is not compatible with Darwin's “little steps” theory of evolution.
Rather, if we preclude the actions of a "God" or the possibility that these creatures were
sent by space ship by a highly advanced extraterrestrial civilization (e.g. Crick & Orgel,
1973), the only likely explanations for the Cambrian explosion is these creatures were
deposited on earth from space or/and evolutionary metamorphosis in response to
extraterrestrial viral and bacterial genes, and specific biologically engineered changes in
the environment, including the secretion and buildup of calcium and oxygen.
However, as to the sudden emergence and die off of exceedingly bizarre species, there is
also the possibility that they were deposited on Earth accompanied by bacteria and
viruses, encased in all manner of debris 600 or more million years ago. If this scenario is
correct, these extraterrestrial viruses, bacteria, and complex organisms may have
exchanged genes with native species, and/or contributed to genetically induced changes in
the environment. Moreover, if they were suddenly deposited on Earth this may also
explain the failure of the more bizarre life forms to survive.
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Consider, if the Earth were to break apart following a cosmic catastrophe, innumerable
life forms, from single celled microbe to complex multicellular creature, might easily
survive if their mineral rich, earthen, watery, or frozen environment remained protected
and intact. And if they were deposited on a suitable planet, most would likely flourish.
However, if the atmosphere, climate, and so on, was not to their liking, and if they were
unable to alter the environment so as to sustain them, they may eventually die out.
...the destruction and fragmentary dispersal of life bearing planets may well be
responsible for the emergence of life on Earth, and may have contributed to the sudden
appearance of those complex life forms which may have literally fell from the sky before
and during the Cambrian explosion.
...single and multi-cellular creatures can be brought back to life, even after millions of
years embedded in amber or crystals, or after traveling through space and sojourning
nearly three years on the moon, or after million years two miles beneath the Antarctic...
those life forms which are believed to have first populated this planet and many of those
which later came to call Earth home, could have traveled through outer space for billions
of miles and for millions of years before crashing to Earth.
Innumerable organisms may have "hitchhiked" across space, living in a state of
dormancy, frozen in ice, buried deep within the core of a titanic, mineral rich meteorite,
or encased in a bubble of ammonia, methane, and so on, thereby subjecting the Earth and
numerous other planets and moons to alien contamination and interplanetary cross-
fertilization for billions of years. Earth has probably been subject to repeated attacks and
conquest by alien invaders.
Under these circumstances, however, it would be expected that similar life forms would
have also rained down upon other planets and moons including those in our solar system
and the solar systems which ring the stars in the Milky Way and other galaxies. Those
who were able to adapt and survive would have also produced progeny, the likes of which
may continue to flourish not only on Earth, but throughout the cosmos.” (Joseph 1997,
2000).
Life on Earth Came From Other Planets
In 1908 Nobel Laureate Svante August Arrhenius (1908) proposed that bacteria and spores from
other solar systems were continually propelled through space by solar and galactic winds and that life on
Earth came from other planets. Francis Crick, who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the double
helix, proposed that since it was impossible for life to have formed on Earth, our planet may have been
contaminated with life by visiting space craft from a technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilization
(Crick & Orgel, 1973).
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That life on Earth came from other planets was in fact already the dominant view in the previous
century. In 1871 Lord Kelvin (President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science)
summarized these beliefs by formally proposing that following collisions with life-bearing planetsmany
great and small fragments carrying seed and living plants and animals would undoubtedly be scattered
through space” and that extraterrestrial life may continually fall on Earth.
Following in the footstep of Kelvin and Arrhenius Joseph formally theorized in scholarly books
published in 1997 and 2000, that algae, fungi, plants, seeds, insects, krill, brittlestars, fish, frogs and
lizards could survive a journey through space--especially if they were dormant and buried within
mountains of debris or frozen in water-ice within comets, asteroids and meteors-- and that these and other
life forms including viruses and bacteria, may have been deposited repeatedly on Earth (and other
planets) thereby triggering the Cambrian Explosion (Joseph, 1997, 2000).
These theories can be traced back to 1972 and 1973 when Duvall and Joseph (who shared a home
near the university campus) engaged in detailed discussions of the theories of Kelvin (1871), Arrhenius
(1908), Crick and Orgel (1973), and Eldredge’s and Gould’s (1972) concept of “punctuated equilibrium;”
and the findings of Claus and Nagy (1961; Nagy et al 1963a,b) who reported fossilized algae and
cyanobacteria in the Orgueil meteorite; and a few paragraphs in Fort’s (1919) book that summarized the
discovery of Dr. Hahn.
As reported by Fort (1919), at some unknown date prior to 1918, Dr. Hahn discovered complex
fossilized forms within the interior of meteors. These included “corals, sponges, shells and crinoids.”
Unfortunately, Fort (1919) did not provide a reference or a date or even Hahn’s first name. Instead, Fort
(1919) refers to “Dr. Birgham” (again with no proper reference) who had written about Hahn’s
discoveries and that “Dr. Weinland examined Dr. Hahn’s specimens. He gave his opinion that they are
fossils.”
Nearly fifty years would pass before Joseph found copies (thanks to the internet) and we could
read the complete works of Hahn (1880) and Birgham (1882).
The 1882 Comet Theory of Extraterrestrial Life
Ninety years before Duvall’s and Joseph’s theorizing in 1972, an article appeared in the 1882
volume of Popular Science” titled: The Discovery of Organic Remains in Meteroic Stones, by Francis
Birgham. Birgham proposed that life must have evolved on ancient planets much older than Earth, and as
proof discussed “the eminent German geologist, Dr. Hahn” who “has discovered... zoological formations
belonging to different classes of sponges, corals, and crinoids” deep within “meteoric stones”
“chrondrites.” Birgham (1882) reports that “noted zoologist Dr. Weinland” confirmed “that a large
number of the formations in question are without doubt remains of coral belonging to the class of the
favositines, which on earth are now to be found only in a fossil state, and then only in the oldest or
palaeolithic stratum.... we must, therefore, accept this fact as important evidence that an organic evolution
of great similarity to that on our own earth has taken place on whatever planet from which these
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meteorites originated.” Birgham (1882) then concludes that “meteorites” “emanate from incandescent
comets and their tails” and that the “animals” discovered by Dr. Hahn “lived in water that never froze
entirely” and thus comets are the source of these meteors and may be delivering life to Earth.
Extraterrestrial Corals and Sponges
Birgham (1882) failed to provide Hahn’s first name or give a full reference to Hahn’s book
(which was written in German), the title of which is: “The Meteorite (Chondrite) and its Organisms”
(“Die Meteorite (Chondrite) und ihre Organismen”). This book includes 142 photographs of what Hahn,
Birgham and Weinland believed to be corals, crinoids and sponges within the interior of samples of 547
pounds of meteorites that fell at Knyahinya, Hungary in 1866. Hahn (1880) describes these fossilized
organisms as a “world of animals in a rock that arrived on Earth to bring us tidings from the smallest
beings of a most distant place — a life-world which a mortal eye could hardly hope to behold: a world of
beings... Admittedly, the meteorites... contain no life of higher construction; rather, all are lower life
forms — the same ones which prevail in the Silurian strata — sponges, corals, and crinoids.”
Therefore, according to Hahn’s microscopic analysis of meteorites he cut into thin slices, what he
found were the fossils or organisms that had become extinct, on Earth, hundreds of millions of years ago.
He also found organisms that were completely alien to Earth: “I could not make a systematic enumeration
of the life which is preserved in the meteorites... I therefore only depicted the organic beings that...
coincide with terrestrial forms...” while leaving the others “to future investigation.”
If we ignore, for the moment, the completely alien forms or the possibility Hahn was mistaken,
then, is it possible these meteorites and their fossilized cargo originated on Earth, perhaps ejected
hundreds of millions of years ago following bolide impact? Dr. Hahn (1880) considered that possibility
and ruled it out: “...the rock of the chondrites is not a type of sedimentary rock as on Earth, in which
fossils are embedded, that it is not a conglomerate formation; but rather, its whole mass is entirely formed
of organic beings, like our coral rocks... plant-animals! The whole stone is life.”
Hahn, who was a famous zoologist in Germany, also discovered what he believed to be an
evolutionary progression in the fossilized assemblage that corresponds to and parallels the evolution of
life on Earth: “Anyone who even superficially surveys the forms will soon find that they provide an actual
historical development. All the transitions... are present.”
Hahn (1882) was puzzled by his findings of what he believed to be parallel evolution and asks:
“how could evolution coincide on different planets?” We have an answer to Hahn’s question.
“Evolutionary metamorphosis” as a function of interplanetary transfer of life and horizontal gene
exchange involving extraterrestrial viruses and bacteria (Duvall & Joseph 1972; Joseph 1997; 2000).
What is our evidence? Fossilized formations on the moon that resemble Ediacarans (Joseph &
Schild 2010) and an evolutionary progression on Mars that begins with fossilized stromatolites and
microbolites (Bianciardi et al. 2014, 2015; Noffke 2015; Joseph 2014, Joseph et al 2020b; Rizzo &
Cantasano 2017; Ruff & Farmer 2016), and progresses to fossilized algae and acritachs (Kaźmierczak
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2016, 2020) and then fossilized Ediacarans, Metazoans (Elewa 2021; Joseph et al. 2020a,c,d; ) and tube
worms (Baucon et al. 2020; DiGregorio,2018) and finally living and fossilized lichens (Joseph et al.
2020a,e,f; Joseph 2021) and small creatures with multiple legs and eyes (Joseph 2021b).
Lichens are a highly evolved eukaryotic organism capable of oxygen photosynthesis and are
comprised of eukaryotic fungi and eukaryotic algae. Humans are eukaryotes and “evolved” from
ancestral eukaryotes; and the human genome still contains highly conserved genes that may have been
inherited from the first (and subsequent) extraterrestrial creatures that arrived encased in debris from
space and then colonized this planet.
Moreover, as first proposed by Kelvin (1871) and Arrhenius (1908), extraterrestrial organisms are
commonly deposited on Earth, from space. Extraterrestrial viruses, bacteria, pollen, seeds, fish- and
crustacean- eggs, larva, and other complex organisms that survive the journey and crash landing on
inhabited planets would then go forth and multiply and exchange genes with the denizens of these worlds
(Joseph 2000). Thus, Earth may have been and may still be colonized by extraterrestrial organisms,
including just prior to and contributing to the “Cambrian Explosion.”
The Russians Prove: Seeds, Insect Larva and Crustacean Eggs Survive Direct Exposure to Space
Russian investigators (Novikova 2009; Novikova et al. 2016) have discovered viable fungi and
diatoms on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS). They have also proved that complex
eukaryotic organisms are able to survive direct exposure to space (Novikova et al. 2016; Orlov et al.
2017); and that these organisms could easily transfer to and fro between Earth and Mars (Orlov et al.
2017). As determined by Russian investigators: those living in space... develop, adapt to the space
environment and are able to reproduce.”
Directly relevant to our discussion are Orlov et al’s (2017) experiments that included bacteria,
fungi, and plant (tomato, leaf mustard, radish, red mustard, rice, barley) seeds, mosquito larvae, Mayfish
dry eggs and the resting eggs of crustaceans. These were sealed inside Biorisk containers and attached to
the outside walls of the ISS. The majority survived after seven to 13 months exposure, and were able to
reproduce.
The Russians report “that even after the 7 - month exposure in outer space not only did
representatives of the bacterial flora retain viability, but... increased enzymic activity... that enhance
their adaptive mechanisms to survive in this environment... Our analysis showed that seeds of higher
plants maintained their viability even after 31 - month exposure... Radishes seeds from Containers 1 and
2 germinated on the third day, while those from Container 3 germinated within 4 to 11 days. Leaf
mustard seeds from Containers 1 and 2 germinated within day 1, whereas those from Container 3
germinated within 11 to 20 days” (Orlov et al. 2017).
Between 82% to 98% of seeds from radishes, red mustard, rice and barley germinated and
“developed normally without any significant deviations in morphology or physiology compared with
plants grown from control seeds” (Orlov et al. 2017). In addition 44% of rice seeds developed normally
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and were able to produce healthy plants. Most of the plants grown from space-exposed seeds “did not
show any significant changes in their morphological and physiological characteristics compared to
the plants grown from control seeds” or any significant differences in their DNA.
In addition, up to 42% of dehydrated fish eggs and eggs of several invertebrate species belonging
to three crustacean orders showed normal growth and reproductive capacity despite 13 months of
exposure to space outside the ISS. Even after 31 months exposure “larval tissue and cells were not
injured.” In total this evidence suggests that a variety of species “are capable to survive for the time
similar to the duration of a flight from Earth to Mars and back... and... that terrestrial organisms may
hitchhike to other planets... and, in theory, reproduce there under favorable conditions” (Orlov et al.
2017).
Without a space ship, how would seeds, eggs, larvae, and metazoans travel to Mars? Spores,
bacteria, viruses, and pollen might be capable of surviving interplanetary travel if propelled by solar and
galactic winds after ejection from a planet’s upper atmosphere, particularly if provided a shield of dust
(Reviewed by Beech et al. 2018; Joseph et al. 2019, 2020a; Valtonen, et al. 2008). However, solar winds
would not likely result in the successful transport of viable larva, eggs, plants, and metazoans; unless they
were flash frozen in bodies of ejected water or buried deep within the depths of rock, soil and mountains
of debris propelled into space following impact by meteor, asteroid or comet.
Comets, Celestial Snowballs and Life Frozen in Extraterrestrial Ice?
Water is the most common molecule in the universe, some attached to cosmic dust, or buried
within the depths of meteors, asteroids and comets. Estimates are that near Earth astroids contain, in total,
at least 400 billion gallons of water. And orbiting or drifting in space, there is ice, frozen rivers and lakes
of water, and innumerable gallons of frozen water-ice ranging from the size of ice-cubes to battleships.
Estimates are that the average comet has at least 1014kg (= liters) of water mass. The water
contents of all the comets that visit this solar system cannot be estimated but would certainly be no less
than 100 trillion gallons.
Some believe that comets come to be composed of water due to a coalescing of water molecules
in space via electrostatic attraction and nucleation around dust particles, dirt, rocks, and stone (Cellino &
DellOro, 2009; Napier 2009; Wickramasinghe et al. 2010). Thus, presumably, rocky material already in
orbit will attract water molecules and eventually become a comet.
However, another plausible explanation is that planets with rivers lakes and oceans of water were
struck by asteroids and giant meteors and these waters splashed into space only to instantly freeze as they
are hurled outward and assume various orbits and trajectories. Comets are frequently called “dirty
snowballs” because they consist of large bodies of water ice, peppered with rocky debris and frozen gases
all of which may or may not surround a rocky core (Cellino & DellOro, 2009; Napier 2009;
Wickramasinghe et al. 2009). Some comets, therefore, could be likened to frozen lakes of water within
which are embedded rocks and soil---as if rivers and lakes and all they contained including their
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immediate surroundings--including river banks and lake bottoms--had been ejected from a planet, balled
up and froze, and began orbiting this solar system. Therefore, some comets may be collections of the
remnants of water worlds and watery-Earth-like planets that were struck by asteroids or destroyed by
cosmic collisions. Conversely, it is generally believed that the oceans of Earth and Mars were also
delivered by asteroid, meteors and comets which in turn may have obtained their water from other
planets.
The surface of modern Earth is marked by 200 massive craters that can be seen from orbiting
space craft. How many huge bolides have struck the oceans is unknown but must be many times that.
And massive amounts of water must have been splashed into space along with innumerable forms of life.
The Chicxulub impact, 65 million years ago, is believed to have ejected up to 5.5 x 1012kg of
debris (Beech et al. 2018). Undoubtedly, terrestrial seeds, eggs, plants, corals, sponges, fish, crustaceans.
and other metazoans would have been propelled and ejected skyward by bolide impact. Those that
survived buried and flash frozen in large bodies of water, may have continued to live deep within these
frozen oceans and mountains of debris perhaps in a dormant state of suspended animation.
Mars also had rivers and oceans of water, some of which is frozen in the north and south polar
ice-caps and beneath the surface (Orlov 2017,2020; Dundas 2015; 2018). However, much of that ocean-
lake-river water is believed to have been lost to space, leaving behind evidence of 635,000 impact craters
at least 1 km (0.6 miles) wide. Some of those impacts likely ejected rivers and lakes of water into space,
along with dead, injured and living creatures.
It is well established various organism buried within ejected debris can survive extreme and
violent shocks and impact pressures of a 100 GPa, and the subsequent hyper velocity launch into space as
well as long term direct exposure to the frigid temperatures and exposure to the cosmic rays, gamma rays,
UV rays, ionizing radiation they encounter; and a high probability of survival after the crash landing onto
the surface of a planet (reviewed in Beech et al. 2018; Joseph et al. 2019, 2020a; Valtonen, et al. 2008).
Even metazoans, wiggling worms, can survive after slamming into the ground after a fall from space
(Szewczyk et al. 2005).
Thus, it is probable that living and dead and mutilated creatures from Earth, Mars, and other
worlds, have been flash frozen when splashed into space or dwell and reproduce within melt-water below
the frozen surface. Yet others may have become dormant or continued to thrive deep within mountains of
ejected debris following bolide impacts; and which may attract and accumulate water while in space.
It is highly like that ejected water, rock and soil may become comets or orbit the solar system as
frozen rivers, lakes and ice-meteors (Beech, 2006; Martinez-Frias et al. 2006; Orellana et al.2008; Snyder
& Joseph, 2015). Some of this ejected mass and frozen water would eventually fall back to the planet
from which they were ejected (Beech, 2006; Martinez-Frias et al. 2006; Orellana et al. 2008). Others
might intersect the orbits of other worlds.
If living masses embedded in water-ice or the melting-frozen spray from a comet’s tail intersect
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and strike the atmosphere of Earth, then perhaps ice, snow, water, and extraterrestrial blood, gore, flesh,
fish, frogs, fungi, larva, worms, and insects would rain down upon the surface.
Interstellar comets release jets of water as they approach and orbit away from the sun. When a
comet approaches and comes within 230 million miles of the Sun frozen surface water melts and
vaporizes. Some of that melt water will intersect the orbit of Mars and Earth the latter which is only 93
million miles from the Sun whereas the former has an average distance of 156 million miles.
An analysis of the 2I/Borisov comet indicates that it shed eight gallons of water per second as
determined by NASA's Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory in 2019 and 2020; and released nearly 61 million
gallons (230 million liters) of water as it approached and passed the Earth before returning to deep space
(Xing et al. 2020). If that melt water contained living, dormant, or dead organisms, is unknown.
Wagging the Comets’s Tail: Fish, Flesh and Blood From Space?
Much of cometary melt-water would instantly freeze as it is shed into space; and so would any
organisms embedded within. When these small and large bodies of frozen water strike the upper
atmosphere of Earth, their entry may be signaled by an “air burst” or a “clap of thunder” and then falling
ice--events that have taken place even on cloudless sunny days. Larva, seeds, flesh and frozen blood have
also been observed within frozen ice that rained down from the heavens (Fort 1919) following “air bursts
and thunder claps (McCafferty 2008).
Over the centuries fields of ice have been repeatedly observed in the sky on warm cloudless days,
often appearing initially as a blur but becoming more distinct as they fall closer to Earth and then break
apart (Fort 1919; McCafferty 2008). One example: according to the Monthly Weather Review, July 1894,
large chunks and blocks of ice fell during the middle of summer from a “vast field of ice suspended in the
atmosphere and suddenly broke into fragments” over Portland Oregon. Some of these masses of ice have
been referred to as “ice meteorites” (Beech, 2006; Martinez-Frias et al. 2006; Snyder & Joseph, 2015).
Sometimes these “air bursts” are followed not just by falling ice but by a rain of algae, diatoms,
fish, frogs, larvae, insects, worms, blood, flesh, meat, and jelly-like gelatinous organic matter (Fort 1919;
McCafferty 2008). In many instances these organisms and organics are embedded in or accompanied by
ice that fell from a field of ice so high in the atmosphere that at first it appeared only as a blur (Fort 1919).
However, not uncommonly, there may be no airburst, no wind, no rain, no storms--and yet creatures will
fall from the sky (Fort 1919; McCafferty 2008).
On June 16, 1882, ice fell from a cloudless sky in Duburque Iowa, within which were frozen frogs
(Fort 1919). In February, 2010, thousands of spangled perch fell from a clear sky over the Australian
town of Lajamanu (Library of Congress, 2018). Tens of thousands of worms, many in squirming masses,
rained from the sky over Jennings Montana during a July 2007 heat wave (WAFB 2007). In October of
1947 A. D. Bajkov, a biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife, stepped outside and observed
thousands of fish falling from they sky, and as many already laying upon the ground or atop houses
“averaging one fish per square yard” even though there was no rain or clouds in the sky (Library of
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Congress, 2018).
Reports of living (and sometimes dead) organisms falling from the sky, are legion (Fort 1919;
McCafferty 2008; Spencer & Felix, 2010; Associated Press 2011; WAFB 2007). According to the U.S.
Library of Congress (2018) “There have been reports of raining frogs and fish dating back to ancient
civilization.”
In the first century AD, Pliny the Elder reported that frogs and fish that fell near Rome. On Aug. 4,
1921 frogs rained out of the sky in Calgary, Canada. In December 1857, live lizards rained down on
Montreal (U.S. Library of Congress 2018).
Through the ages, there have been numerous reports of insects, fish, live lizards, frogs and other
small animals falling out of the sky during rainstorms (Fort 1919; McCafferty 2008). Large black ants
pelted Winnipeg during a thunderstorm in May 1895 and fish fell during a downpour in Moose Jaw in
1903. In 1680, during a freezing rain thousands of rats fell from the sky over Germany (Library of
Congress, 2018), along with gore, pieces of flesh and substances that could not be identified. In 461 BC,
in Italy, ‘it rained flesh” that covered homes and fields (Pliny, II, lvii).
A red rain that fell in March of 1888 in the Mediterranean region had “the odour of animal
matter” (Fort 1919; McCafferty 2008). From April to May of 1863 massive amounts of reddish
yellowish substance fell in France and Spain and “had the odour of charred animal matter” (McCafferty
2008). In August of 1869, acres of flesh, blood and gore rained from the sky in Los Nietos California. On
March 3, 1876, Kentucky, flesh and pieces of meat, like beef, fell from a clear sky (Fort 1919).
Sometimes these pieces of flesh and gore are accompanied by a bloody red rain"(Fort 1919;
McCafferty 2008). Laboratory analysis of a thick viscous red rain that fell over Calabria, Italy in May
1890 determined that it was in fact blood. Enormous quantities--an estimated 720,000 pounds-- of red
blood fell from the sky near Lyons France in October of 1846, and when examined by microscope a
great quantity of corpuscles” and microscopic diatoms were observed. An analysis of red ice and snow
that fell in Switzerland in 1867 showed a high proportion of “variously shaped organic matter” including
“diatoms” and “pollen” (Popular Science Review 1870). Red blood also fell from the sky near London in
March of 1876 and in addition to its “corpuscular composition” algae were observed (McCafferty 2008).
When a golden-yellow rain fell on a clear day in February of 1877 in Germany “four kinds of organisms”
were identified when examined via microscope, many of which were still alive and had shapes like
arrows, horns, and disks (Monthly Weather Review 1877; Fort 1919).
Ants, algae, lichens, flakes of meat, flakes of capillary matter, buttery grease, lumps of jelly, dried
spawn, gelantinous fungus, viscous blood, blood and flesh, blood and putrified flesh and more have fallen
from the heavens. On January 24 1849 in Lithuania, black larva fell from the sky in huge numbers
(Review et Magasin de Zooologie, 18-49-72). On January 1980, black and yellow larvae fell from the sky
(L. Astronomie 1890-313). Worms rained from the sky in Randolph County, Virginia in February of
1891 (Scientific America, Feb 1891).
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In city of Bath, England, jellyfish fell from the heavens on 1894. On June 13, 2018, seashells,
starfish and octopuses rained down upon miles of farmlands, fields, and homes in Chandong Province
China (China Central Daily 2018).
Of course, it seems utterly improbable that complex organisms would fall from space, even if
embedded in blocks of cosmic ice. A more reasonable explanation is that powerful winds are responsible
(Library of Congress, 2018; Spencer & Felix 1997). Therefore, these organisms are somehow lofted
skyward in homogenous groups consisting of just fish, or just frogs, or just worms, and so on, and then
dropped onto the ground. Except that, often these falls have no association with wind, rain, or storms and
these living and dead organisms, and blood and gore, may be embedded in ice (Fort 1919; McCafferty
2008).
In 2008, P. McCafferty published, in the International Journal of Astrobiology, a summary of
substances that fell from the sky including algae, diatoms, flesh, frogs, fish, red, worms, larva, and blood-
like cells that may have an “extraterrestrial” origin linked to meteors and “comets” that “habour life.”
McCafferty (2008) also cites Charles Fort’s (1919) compendium and states that these comet, celestial and
air burst related occurrences have taken place world wide and haven been reported for thousands of years.
Many of these reports are associated with meteoritic activity and comets passing overhead.
According to McCafferty’s (2008) calculations, of “168 events, 60 were linked to meteoritic or
cometary activity” and are “strongly associated with, if not actually caused by unusual celestial activity.”
For example, McCafferty (2008) and Fort (1919) report: Red rain that fell in Sicily on 9, 10 and 11
March 1872 was found to consist of 100 parts of red iron ochre, 75.1; carbonate of lime, 11.7; organic
matter, 13.2 and was accompanied by meteoric dust.” McCafferty (2008) also notes that in July of 2001
when a bloody red rain fell over Kerala. India “it was established that the red rain contained small,
unidentified, red, cellular particles (Louis & Kumar 2006). It was concluded that the red particles
probably had an extraterrestrial origin, the result of a meteor airburst event on 25 July 2001, just hours
before the red rain first started to fall.”
In 1882, Birgham suggested that corals, crinoids and sponges may be deposited on Earth
following the melting of a comet’s tail. McCafferty (2008) also emphasizes comets and notes that in 2004
the Deep Impact Spacecraft mission determined that Comet Tempel 1 contains an extraordinary amount
of organic material including polyaromatic hydrocarbons and amino acids. It has also been documented
that bacteria, fungi, the seeds of numerous plants mosquito larvae, and fish eggs and eggs of several
invertebrate species belonging to three crustacean orders can survive seven to 13 months exposure to
space, outside the ISS and showed normal growth and reproductive capacity (Orlov et al’s 2017).
Moreover, simple metazoans will survive a fall from space and crash landing on the Earth (Szewczyk et
al. 2005). However, as of this writing, the only physical, morphological evidence of alien life linked to
meteors and comets are fossilized algae, cyanobacteria, fungi, and diatoms (Claus & Nagy, 1961; Pflug,
1984; Hoover, 2011; Nagy et al. 1963a,b; Razanov & Hoover 2009); and possibly corals, crinoids and
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sponges (Birgham 1982; Hahn 1880).
Comets, Contagion, Viruses and the Genetic Seeds of Life
Birgham (1882) was not the first to propose that life may fall to Earth by passing comets. Two-
thousand-five-hundred years ago Hippocrates (“the father of medicine”) taught that comets were a source
of disease that could contaminate crops and cause death to humans and animals. Ancient Chinese
astronomers in a series of books known as the "Mawangdui Silk" meticulously chronicled repeated
episodes over a thousand years where plague became rampant when comets appeared over head: "Comets
are vile stars. Every time they appear in the south, they wipe out the old and establish the new. Fish grow
sick, crops fail, Emperors and common people die... The people hate life and don't even want to speak of
it." -Li Ch'un Feng, Director, Chinese Imperial Astronomical Bureau, (648, A.D).
"Death comes with those celestial torches, which threaten earth with the blaze of pyres unceasing,
since heaven and nature's self are stricken and seem doomed to share men's tomb." -Marcus Manilius
(10-20 AD).
But exactly why comets were causing disease, plague and death, was unknown, at least in Europe
where the existence of bacteria and germs was denied until 1676 when Antoni van Leeuwenhoek proved
their existence. However, in Asia and the Middle East it was long ago recognized that germs, pathogens,
and microorganisms too small to see with the naked eye, could invade and infect humans and other
animals, causing illness and disease. This became known as the “germ theory” as first proposed by Ibn
Sina in 1025, and elaborated by Ibn al-Khatib in 1325, Girolamo Fracastoro in 1546, and Marcus von
Plenciz in 1762; until finally the “germ theory” included fungi and then bacteria with viruses added to the
list in 1892--infectious organisms, too small to see, that the ancient Chinese associated with passing
comets.
Hence, for thousand of years it was understood that comets were depositing something that was
causing plague and disease, and by the 1700s many scholars and learned doctors began to believe that
these pathogens included bacteria, fungi and viruses (Joseph & Wickramasinghe 2010).
Metazoans From Space Survive a Crash Landing on Earth
It is highly probable that bacteria and viruses circulate in space and hibernate within the interior
of watery comets (Joseph & Wickramasinghe 2010). However, what is the probability that comets or
masses of ice in space may harbor fish, crustaceans, frogs, insects and other highly developed creatures?
And yet, there are all these historical accounts provided by Fort (1919), later verified by McCafferty
(2008) and attributed to comets. But where is the scientific proof that complex organisms, such as
metazoans could survive a fall from the upper atmosphere and remain viable after slamming into the
Earth?
On February 2, 2003, numerous members of Caenorhabditis elegans ensconced within canisters,
survived an explosion, at speeds of Mach 19, approximately 61 km above Earth's surface, that destroyed
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the space shuttle Columbia (Szewczyk et al. 2005). And these C. elegans survived a 660–1,050km/h
velocity reentry into Earth's atmosphere and the subsequent crash upon the surface. After these C elegans
were retrieved from the crash site all but two displayed normal growth and reproductive egg laying
behavior. As argued by Szewczyk et al. (2005), what they experienced is analogous to being embedded
on the surface of an asteroid that breaks into fragments upon striking the atmosphere, and then surviving
after those fragments smash into the ground.
Caenorhabditis elegans is a nematode, a metazoan, approximately 1mm in length and has a
mouth, intestine, male and female reproductive organs, and an ancestry that extends back to the
Ediacaran era. Some species of nematode prefer frigid climates where temperatures may fall below 50
°C (58 °F) whereas those that dwell in arid environments can enter a state of dormancy for up to 28
years if deprived of water and then become metabolically active when provided moisture. Caenorhabditis
elegans, therefore, can survive exposure to space, an explosive reentry into the atmosphere, a subsequent
crash landing and may be able to survive on Mars.
Conversely, C elegans from Mars, or from another planet might be able to survive on Earth after a
journey through space. As already discussed, there have been repeated reports of metazoans falling from
the heavens. If similar life-falls occurred over 540 million years ago, this may explain the “Cambrian
Explosion.
Metazoans From Mars
All chondrites (vs iron meteorites) have been found to contain the fossils of various organisms,
including algae, cyanobacteria, fungi, diatoms and viruses (Claus & Nagy, 1961; Pflug, 1984; Hoover,
2011; Nagy et al. 1963a,b; Razanov 2009; Razanov et al. 2020; Zhmur & Gerasimenko 1999; Zhmur et
al 1997). Living organisms as well as pollen and seeds have also been found, but dismissed as
contaminants as they are identical to terrestrial forms. However, given the high probability that life is
repeatedly tossed to and fro between planets, then it should be no surprise that regardless of their origin
many extraterrestrial organisms would have a nearly identical morphology to those of Earth. The algae,
fungi, lichens, fungi, domical stromatolites and array of fossils on Mars, providing direct evidence of this
proposition (Armstrong 2021; Baucon et al. 2020; Bianciardi et al. 2014, 2015, 2021; Dass, 2017;
DiGregorio,2018; Elewa 2021; Noffke 2015; Joseph 2006, 2014, 2016, 2021; Joseph et al 2020a-e, 2021;
Kaźmierczak 2016, 2020; Krupa 2017; Latif et al. 2021; Raab, 2018; Rizzo & Cantasano 2009, 2015;
Ruff & Farmer 2016; Small 2015).
In 2018, DiGregorio reported his observation of fossils resembling tube worms; a report
supported by comparative statistical analysis (Baucon et al. 2020; Joseph et al. 2020) and that launched a
hunt for fossils in the dried lake beds of Gale Crater. This search led to the discovery of an assemblage of
fossilized organisms that were morphologically nearly identical to terrestrial (fossilized) algae, sponges,
tube worms, Ediacarans, and Metazoans including Namacalathus, Kimberella and Lophophorates; all of
which were found in the same location or on adjacent mudstones in the dried lake beds of Gale Crater
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(Elewa 2021; Joseph et al. 2020c,d).
Based on this and related fossilized evidence of algae, acritarchs, stromatolites, findings of
biological residue in Martian meteorite ALH 80001, and the progressive oxygenation and oxidation of
Mars, it was theorized that life evolved on Mars in parallel but at a more rapid rate as compared to Earth
(Joseph et al. 2020; Joseph & Duvall, 2021; Joseph & Schild 2021). McKay (1996) even proposed that
Mars may have experienced a “Cambrian Explosion” a billion years before Earth.
Mars, Meteors, Metazoans, Comets, and the Cambrian Explosion
On average over 2 million pounds of cosmic dust and debris falls to Earth every day. There are
estimates that up to 5000 meteorites strike Earth’s upper atmosphere each year, only about 500 of which
stay sufficiently intact to strike the surface. How many fall in the ocean is unknown but must be many
times that. If a meteor or a comet's tail crosses the orbit of Earth there may be ignition upon striking the
atmosphere, showering Earth with "shooting stars.” This is what happened in 1866 when Earth was
bombarded by over 500 pounds of meteorites that fell at Knyahinya, Hungary; within which were
discovered what may be fossilized crinoids, corals and sponges (Hahn, 1880).
Sponges are classified as sessile metazoans and constitute the phylum Porifera. Fossilized
specimens that resemble siliceous filamentous sponges have been observed on Mars (Joseph et al. 2020).
Eight hundred million years ago the Moon, Earth, and presumably Mars, were struck by a flurry
of asteroids, comets and meteoroids that likely profoundly affected the biosphere. As summarized by
Terada and colleague (2020): "Based on crater scaling laws and collision probabilities... meteoroids,
approximately 30–60 times more powerful than the Chicxulub impact, must have plunged into the Earth-
Moon system."
As determined by molecular clock studies, metazoans began populating Earth 750 to 800 mya
(Erin 2015)--almost immediately after Earth was hit by an armada of meteors (Terada et al 2020). Hence
after nearly 4 billion years of evolutionary stasis, and only after this massive meteor strike, Ediacarans
and the first metazoans (e.g. Kimberella and the ice-cream-cone shaped Namacalathus and
Lophophorates) began to proliferate in Earth's oceans, just before, during and after the “Cambrian
Explosion.” This initial Cambrian fauna appeared rather “suddenly” and many having a bizarre alien
appearance and eventually dying out and becoming extinct (Erwin & Valentine 2013)—as if they were
deposited here from another planet. The survivors included creatures with hearts, bones, brains, and
modern eyes who suddenly appeared in all Earth’s oceans in the absence of any ancestral forms, when the
most advanced previous species (Ediacarans) were brainless, boneless, heartless, eyeless, and had at most
only 11 cell types.
Where did they come from? Had the environment been sufficiently genetically engineered via the
release and buildup of oxygen, ozone, calcium and other essentials to act on gene selection and trigger
their evolutionary metamorphosis? Had extraterrestrial virus, bacteria and other organism inserted genes
into the dominant population of arcritarchs that induced this sudden metamorphosis. Or were these
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Cambrian era fauna, or their immediate ancestor--along with viruses and ancestral genes-- deposited in
Earth’s oceans by that armada of meteors that struck 800 million years ago?
Quantitative comparative morphological analysis of the fossilized impressions of Martian
Namacalathus and Kimberella and Lophophorates proved they are statistically nearly identical to
terrestrial specimens (Joseph et al. 2020d). These Martian metazoan-like fossils, most protruding from
the surface, also included spiral, spherical, and tubular specimens often atop or immediately adjacent, and
many nearly identical to one another (Joseph et al. 2020a).
On Earth, arcritarchs (meaning “of uncertain origin”) were dominant and had evolved over 700
million years ago (Arouri et al. 2000; Zhou et al. 2001) prior to the Ediacarans. Paralleling events on
Earth, Kaźmierczak (2016, 2020) upon searching the Mars Meridiani Planum data base, discovered
specimens that resemble fossilized acritarchs, as well as mineralized tri-star and globular fossils with
central vesicle-like ornamental chambers and a cell-like appearance. These fossils were discovered in
hydrated sediments that may have once been an ancient Martian lake, i.e. Endeavor Crater. In addition,
Kaźmierczak (2020) has presented evidence of Martian fossils that are strikingly similar to daughter
colonies of Terran volvocalean algae as well as cell-like enclosures similar to chloroplasts and modern
unicellular green and yellow green algae. These latter findings correspond to the discovery of Martian
microbial mats, microbiolites, thrombolites and domical stromatolites (Bianciardi et al. 2014, 2015;
Noffke 2015; Joseph 2014, Joseph et al 2020b,e; Rizzo & Cantasano 2017; Ruff & Farmer 2016) some
dated to 3.7 billion years ago--the same age as the earliest stromatolites on Earth--all of which are
believed to have been constructed by algae and cyanobacteria that may have been deposited on both
planets during the period of great bombardment that ended around 3.8 billion years ago.
Thus, we have evidence of planetary parallels in the origin of life, the construction of
stromatolites, the presence of algae and cyanobacteria followed by acritarchs, Ediacarans and metazoans
on Mars and Earth. If these organisms “evolved” independently at the same time on Mars and Earth this
would prove that "evolution" is not random and does not unfold according to Darwinian principles, but is
genetically coded and follows precise genetic principles: Because they all inherited or were infected with
the same extraterrestrial genes, similar species inevitably "evolve" on planets that are similarly habitable;
“i.e. evolutionary metamorphosis” (Joseph 2000, 2009a-c, 2013). However, if these parallels are due to
interplanetary transfer of metazoans and Ediacarans it’s a question of “who evolved first?”
McKay (1996) has proposed that "after the origin of life the key evolutionary steps could have
occurred much more rapidly on Mars than on Earth" and that within a billion years after life appeared,
Mars may have "experienced the range of biological evolution that would be duplicated on the Earth only
with the start of the Cambrian." If “Ediacarans” and metazoans first evolved on Mars, then it can be
concluded that life from Mars caused the Cambrian explosion via interplanetary transfer of Martian
organisms contained in the debris that was part of and/or was ejected because of those swarms of
meteors, asteroids and comets that struck the Earth-Moon system 800,000 years ago.
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Or, it could be argued that metazoans first evolved on yet another planet and were encased in that
meteor storm and deposited on both Earth and Mars. The only evidence in favor of that proposition are
the corals and sponges discovered in those meteorites that struck the earth in 1866 (Birgham 1882; Hahn
1880). However, those too, may have come from Mars.
Life infested bolides and rivers of frozen water have likely been repeatedly and periodically
tossed to and fro between Earth and the Red Planet, possibly not only transferring life but causing mass
extinctions. The Chicxulub impact, for example, is believed to have delivered the coup de grace to the
dinosaurs which were already in remission. When that meteor struck 66 million years ago, it is believed
to have ejected up to 5.5 x 1012 kg of debris (Beech et al. 2018). That debris may have included unknown
volumes of water, and perhaps millions of trillions of organisms buried within. Those that survived and
were deposited within a habitable environment in this or another solar system, would have likely gone
forth and multiplied.
Discussion and Conclusions
For thousands of years, as first formally proposed by the ancient Greek “atomists” it has been
believed by scholars and scientists that life must be pervasive throughout the cosmos. Also, for thousands
of years, there have been reports of worms, insects, fish, frogs, larva, flesh, blood and gore that have
fallen from the sky, sometimes encased in ice or raining down accompanied by ice, snow, and bloody
water even on clear sunny days. Sometimes fields of falling ice were first observed in the upper
atmosphere, and in other instances falling meteors or comets passing overhead were first observed. In
2008, McCafferty, published a report in the International Journal of Astronomy, documenting a direct
association between these “falls” and comets and other celestial events.
By the late 19th century many leading scientists believed life on Earth must have come from other
planets, even proposing that seeds, plants, and complex living creatures may have been deposited on
Earth (and other planets) by meteorites and comets that originated from other worlds; and that life may
have evolved on other worlds in parallel with Earth as based on the discovery of what may be fossilized
corals and sponges within meteorites. By the close of the 20th century and continuing into the present, an
extensive body of research has proved that bacteria, fungi, algae, as well as plant seeds, larvae, and the
embryos and eggs of crustaceans and fish could survive a journey through space to Earth and Mars and
back again, with just minimal protection. In the first two decades of the 21st century peer reviewed
research conducted by over 30 scientists has documented the presence on Mars of stromatolites,
microbial mats, algae, fungi, lichens, and fossilized structures that resemble terrestrial algae, acritarchs,
tube worms, Ediacarans and Metazoans and an assemblage of fossil-like forms adjacent to one another
and often protruding from the surface. A veritable “Burgess Shale” has been discovered much of which
has been found in Gale Crater, a series of ancient lakes many believe was conducive to the evolution and
fossilization of eukaryotic organisms. Paralleling Earth, life appears to have evolved on Mars culminating
in a Martian “Cambrian Explosion.”
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Evolutionary events on Earth some 540 million years ago during the Cambrian era, are described
as an “explosion” as creatures with bones, brains, and modern eyes, all the phyla present today--including
creatures exceedingly bizarre in morphology-- “suddenly” appeared in all the oceans of Earth, in a 5 to 20
million years period. These complex organisms appeared in the absence of any intermediate forms and
the most advanced of which consisted of only 11 different cell types.
In 1997 and 2000, it was formally proposed that seeds, eggs, plants, and complex living
organisms encased in comets, asteroids, meteors and mountains of ice, may have been deposited on Earth
over 600 million years ago thereby causing the Cambrian Explosion. In 2020 it was reported that 800
million years ago an armada of meteors collectively many times more massive and powerful than the
Chicxulub impact 66 million years ago, passed through the inner solar system and struck the Earth-moon
system. Mars, therefore, may have also been struck. In consequence, millions of tons of debris and rivers
and lakes of water were undoubtedly ejected into space--along with living, injured and dead organisms
within that ejecta. Those organisms embedded in water may have been flash frozen in a dormant state of
suspended animation, or they may have continued to flourish and reproduce in melt-water deep beneath
the surface of semi-frozen lakes of water and mountains of debris. Data based on genetics indicates the
first metazoans on Earth, appeared 750 to 800 million years ago immediately after that massive meteor
strike.
The evidence of Martian algae, fungi, lichens, stromatolites and fossilized remains of various
organisms including Metazoans that are nearly identical to those of Earth--and those with what appear to
be legs and eyes living in crevices-- raise several distinct possibilities, three of which were first proposed
by Joseph in 1997 and 2000: Life on different planets evolved in a similar manner, in parallel, because (1)
they have the same extraterrestrial genetic heritage and it is the nature of DNA to produce diverse as well
as increasingly complex and intelligent species; (2) extraterrestrial viruses and bacteria injected the same
operational genes into hosts living on different worlds thus effecting the trajectory of evolution; (3)
complex multicellular life was deposited into the oceans of Earth over 600 million years ago and it is
these life forms that caused the explosion of life during the Cambrian era; (4) life was transferred to and
from Earth and Mars 800 million years ago, or/and (5) evolution occurred more rapidly on Mars which
experienced a Cambrian Explosion millions or hundreds of millions of years prior to Earth, such that life
from Mars, embedded with mountains of debris and frozen rivers and lakes ejected into space, fell into
the oceans of Earth and caused the Cambrian Explosion.
If true, then we are all descended from Martians.
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APPENDIX: PICTORIAL EVIDENCE OF LIFE AND EVOLUTION ON MARS
Figure 4. Mars: Domical Concentric Stromatolite, Gale Crater (Lakes), Mars (Joseph et al. 2020).
Figure 5. Living stromatolites (Earth) vs Fossilized Stromatolite (Mars) depicting fenestra photosynthesis
oxygen vents (from Joseph et al. 2020).
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Figure 6. Mars: Algae, microbial mats, and “carpets” of tubular organisms, Gale Crater (Lakes), Mars
(From Joseph et al. 2020).
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Figure 7. Mars: Algae and microbial mats / conical stromatolites, Gale Crater (Lakes), Mars (From
Joseph et al. 2020).
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Figure 8. Algae and open cone-like protrusions similar to fossilized gas bubbles (upper left), Gale Crater
(Lakes), Mars (From Joseph et al. 2020).
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Figure 9. Pinnicle-columnar stromatolites and thrombolites and algae growing upon Martian rocks, sand
and soil, Gale Crater (Lakes), Mars
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Figure 10. Algae, lichens, tubular fungi, and microbial mats and, surrounded by ovoid and tubular
specimens, Gale Crater (Lakes), Mars (From Joseph et al. 2020).
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Figure 11. Earth, Dibaeis is a genus of lichenized fungi in the Icmadophilaceae family.
Figure 12. Mars, Eagle Crater. These lichen/fungi are up to 8 mm in length, with bulging hyphae atop and just
beneath the rock surface. The bulbous cap may be a spore producing fruiting body. Note RATT grinding
instrument impression red-circled. Stems are hollow. (From Joseph 2021).
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Figure 13. Mars, Eagle Crater. Lichen-mushrooms (lichenized fungi?). These organisms have long stems
and bulbous spherical caps. Those that have stalks/stems are supported by substrate above the ground.
Figure 14. Mars, Growth of Martian fungal puffballs (circled in red). Seven days later, at least 18
spherical specimens have appeared in that same area. (From Joseph et al. 2021)
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Figure 15. Martian fungal puffballs growing out of the ground and increasing in size over three days
(From Joseph et al. 2020, 2021).
Figure 16. (Left) Earth: Fungal puffball (Basidiomycota) with stalk. (Right) Mars: Sol 257, Martian
fungal Puffballs with stalk (From Joseph et al. 2020, 2021).
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Figure 17. Sol 1148. Martian fungal “puffball.” Compare “lemon-shape” bulge/stalk with terrestrial
puffball (Figure 18, below).
Figure 18. Terrestrial fungal “puffball” (Basidiomycota). Note and compare “lemon-shape” stalk bulge.
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Figure 19. Martian mushrooms (puffballs) preparing to spore through their top cap. Note holes/apertures.
Figure 20. Terrestrial fungal puffballs) preparing to spore and sporing through their top cap.
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Figure 21. Martian mushrooms (puffballs) surrounded by fluffy white spores within which embryonic fungi are
growing (see Figure 22).
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Figure 22. Embryonic fungi growing with spores surrounding Martian mushrooms (see Figure 21).
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Figure 23: (Top row) Mars, Gale Crater, Fossilized Fungi (Middle row) Martian Embryonic fungi (Left bottom) Gale
Crater, Mars, Green algae and tubular fungi (Right bottom) Terrestrial fungi, cladonia-squamules Photo credit: https://
www.ukfungusday.co.uk/
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Figure 24. Mars, Gale Crater (lakes): Specimens resembling mineralized tube worm trace fossils. These
specimens are approximately 1 to 5 mm in length on average.
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Figure 25. (Top) Sol 869: Specimens resembling mineralized fossils of tubular worms and metazoans,
approximately 1 to 2 mm in length. (Bottom Left): Sol 1905 (“ichnofossils”) compared with Sol 869
(bottom right). Reprinted from Joseph et al. (2020a).
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Figure 26. (Top) Sol 809. (Bottom) Sol 809. Similar specimens in two different locations, photographed
alongside tubular, curved, and other fossil-like structures which resemble a variety of metazoans.
Reproduced from Joseph et al. 2020a.
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Figure 27. (First row): Sol 809 and Sol 869. (Second row) Sol 905 and Sol 905. Specimens photographed
in Gale Crater and that are quantitatively and statistically nearly identical to Ediacaran fossils of
Namacalathus (two, bottom left) and (with the exception of tail length) Cambrian fossils of
Lophotrochozoa (three bottom right). Photos of Namacalathus reproduced from and courtesy of
Kontorovich, A. E. et al. 2008. Photos of Lophotrochozoa reproduced from and courtesy of Zhang Z-F. et
al. 2014).
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Figure 28. (Left) Sol 809. (Center) Terrestrial Namacalathus. (Right) Sol 869. Arrows indicate what may
be open apertures. (From Joseph et al. 2020).
Figure 29. (First row) fossilized remains of Ediacaran Kimberella. (Bottom row): Specimens
photographed in Gale Crater, quantitatively and statistically nearly identical to Ediacaran fossils of
Kimberella. Sol 809, Sol 809, Sol 809; Sol 880, Sol 905, Sol 905. Note proboscis and "zipper- like"
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appendages.
Figure 30. Mars, Gale Crater: Living Martian organisms; a sample of Martian life from the collection of
Rhawn Joseph
Figure 31. Mars, Gale Crater: Living Martian organisms; a sample of Martian life from the collection of
Rhawn Joseph
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Figure 32. Mars, Gale Crater: Living Martian organisms?
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Journal of Cosmology, 2021 205 Rhawn Joseph Copyright © 2021
Cosmology.com Mars, Comets, Cambrian Explosion
... In the book "Astrobiology..." (Joseph 2000), the possibility was raised that the Cambrian Explosion was due to the interplanetary transfer of life; i.e. complex life forms, or their immediate ancestors--along with extraterrestrial bacteria and viruses--were deposited on Earth embedded in comets and asteroids that originated on Mars or other planets (Joseph 2000;Joseph & Duvall, 2021). In support of this theory, is evidence of fossilized metazoans on Mars (Armstrong 2021a;Joseph 2020bJoseph , 2021aSuamanarathna et al. 2021) and evidence that 800 million years ago, Earth (and presumably Mars) were struck by an armada of meteorites, which may have transferred innumerable viruses and other organisms to Earth (Joseph et al. 2020a, Joseph & Duvall, 2021. ...
... In the book "Astrobiology..." (Joseph 2000), the possibility was raised that the Cambrian Explosion was due to the interplanetary transfer of life; i.e. complex life forms, or their immediate ancestors--along with extraterrestrial bacteria and viruses--were deposited on Earth embedded in comets and asteroids that originated on Mars or other planets (Joseph 2000;Joseph & Duvall, 2021). In support of this theory, is evidence of fossilized metazoans on Mars (Armstrong 2021a;Joseph 2020bJoseph , 2021aSuamanarathna et al. 2021) and evidence that 800 million years ago, Earth (and presumably Mars) were struck by an armada of meteorites, which may have transferred innumerable viruses and other organisms to Earth (Joseph et al. 2020a, Joseph & Duvall, 2021. Even if Martian organisms were not transferred to Earth, the fact that specimens on Mars that resemble stromatolites, algae, fungus, lichens, and metazoan invertebrates are nearly identical to those of Earth (Joseph et al. 2020a,b;Joseph et al. 2021a,c;Armstrong 2021a,b;Elewa 2021Latif et al. 2021Bianciardi 2022); and that based on sequential photos fungi appear to be emerging from the soil, growing larger or smaller or moving to new locations (Joseph et al. 2021b), should be viewed as evidence that similar species evolved, possibly independently, on two worlds; and that the same viral genetic seeds fell upon both planets: repeated viral invasions that led to the metamorphosis of similar forms of life independently and in parallel on two different worlds. ...
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Astrovirology is the study of beneficial vs harmful viruses that originated from comets, meteors, solar winds, and ejecta from other planets, or which mutated when lofted by winds into the upper atmosphere. That these upper atmospheric and putative extraterrestrial viruses have contributed to the evolution of the biosphere and life on Earth, and caused disease and plague, is discussed, and the role of astro-viruses and endogenous retroviruses in the evolution of life and biosphere is reviewed. Evolution leading to the Cambrian Explosion and continuing to humans is characterized by repeated viral invasions and insertion of retroviral genes into host species' genomes. "Evolution" parallels the genetic-biological engineering of the environment (e.g. oxygen production), which activates inherited retroviral genes. Viral plagues are associated with comets, and have caused extinctions that served to promote evolution and eradicate those not "fit." Given evidence of life on Mars and association of plague with comets, extraterrestrial viruses may be commonplace. Extraterrestrial viruses may have acquired genes via interplanetary horizontal gene transfer which in turn have been transferred to the genomes of eukaryotes on Earth. "Evolution" may be the metamorphosis and replication of life and biospheres that evolved on other planets.
... by solar and galactic winds (Joseph & Duvall, 2021;Joseph et al. 2019Joseph et al. , 2020a;. It is well documented that fungi (as well as algae, lichens, seeds, fish eggs, and a host of bacteria) can survive long term exposure to space (Novikova et al. 2016;Orlov et al. 2017). ...
... As noted, it has been proposed that upper atmospheric fungi and fungus found on the outside of the ISS, may have originated in space (Grebennikova et al. 2018); i.e. from other planets, including Mars (Joseph et al. 2019(Joseph et al. , 2020aJoseph & Duvall 2021). Fossilized fungi have been observed in meteorites and in rock samples dated to 3.7 bya (Pflug 1978(Pflug , 1984. ...
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Fungal reproductive behavior, the growth of hyphae and mycelium, and the production of spores, on Earth and Mars, are reviewed. Spherical specimens that nearly 70 experts have identified as fungal "puffballs" ("basidiomycota") have been photographed in the equatorial regions of Mars, within Meridiani Planum in particular. Over two dozen "puffballs" have been photographed emerging from beneath the ground and increasing in size. Networks of what appear to be fungal hyphae and mycelium, structural morphological changes associated with sporing, substances resembling clumps and carpets of white spores adjacent to these spherical "puffballs" and what may be embryonic fungi within these clumps of spores, have been observed. Although the authors have not proven that fungi are sporing on the Red Planet, the evidence coupled with comparative morphology supports the hypothesis that fungi are growing, generating spores, and reproducing on Mars.
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Mars has been subject to repeated waxing and waning episodes of extreme chaotic obliquity (axial tilting) for at least four billion years. Obliquity is currently at 25.19 degrees and has exceeded 80◦. Each time obliquity exceeds 40◦ Martian atmospheric pressures and global temperatures increase causing the melting of glaciers and permafrost and subsurface ice, and resulting in oceans, lakes and rivers of water flooding across the surface then stabilizing and enduring for hundreds of thousands of years or longer. There is evidence that within these seas evolved stromatolite constructing cyanobacteria, green algae, acritarchs, foraminifera, seaweed, and marine metazoan invertebrates including sponges, tube worms, crustaceans, reef-building corals, bivalves, and those resembling Kimberella, Namacalathus and Lophophorates; almost all of which (with the exception of algae, fungi and lichens) may have become extinct. The last episode of extreme obliquity may have begun over a million years in the past and endured until 110,000 years ago. Subsequently, as axial tilting declined, the waters of Mars seeped back beneath the surface forming vast aquifers and glacial deposits of water-ice and the remainder froze at the poles and atop dusty layers of icy-sediment: the remnants of previous obliquity-driven freeze-thaw cycles that may have caused life to evolve and oceans and lakes to repeatedly form, stabilize, endure then freeze.
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Statistical comparisons were made between the populations of Martian spheroids photographed by Opportunity and terrestrial Moqui balls and between the stalked Martian spheroids and reproductive podetia of the lichen Dibaeis baeomyces. Principal components analysis (PCA)based on various metrics suggested significant differences in statistical properties of the Martian spheroids compared with the Moqui balls but considerable similarities between the stalked spheroids and the lichen podetia. These preliminary results suggest that Moqui balls are not a good terrestrial analogue of the Martian spheroids and support the hypothesis that the stalked spheroids may represent the reproductive podetia of a lichen; albeit considerably strengthened via mineral deposition to survive the Martian environment.
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Ice meteors have been reported falling form the skies since the 19th century. The consensus of opinion is they are not meteors at all, but formed under unusual atmospheric conditions effecting the troposphere. Some scientists believe, however, that ice meteors, i.e. Megacryometeors, have an extraterrestrial origin. A review of the literature and arguments pro and con regarding the possible origins of megacryometeors is presented, as well as new data on a ice meteor subjected to electron microscopic, isotope ratio and tritium analysis. The results favor an extraterrestrial origin. Although admittedly speculative, based on this data and a review of the literature, the authors theorize this particular megacryometeor may have originated from Saturn's E ring, or from the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus.
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There is life on Mars as documented with 100 comparative photos. This evidence includes pigmented/melanized fungi and lichens, fungi shedding crustose and secreting calcium oxalate, fungi preparing to spore, spores on the surface sprouting embryonic mushrooms, fungus growing out of the ground, lichens with hollow stalks, vast colonies of lichens attached to rocks and oriented skyward similar to photosynthesizing lichens on Earth, and documentation that the claims of spherical hematite is a hoax--a byproduct of religious extremism at NASA--which is why the hematite claims were immediately rejected as inappropriate and implausible by a number of investigators who proposed instead they are tektites and accretionary lapilli produced by meteor impact and volcano. Be they on the surface or attached to Martian rocks they have no resemblance to terrestrial hematite. The “spheres” of Mars are uniform in shape and size (1mm or 3mm to 6 mm) and all were initially described as “yellow” “orange” “purple” and “blue” the pigmented colors of photosynthesizing organisms. Terrestrial hematite “spheres” are colored red to dark red, consist of less than 2% hematite which form a thin layer on the surface and have a wide variety of sizes and shapes and are infiltrated by fungi and lichens. A review of the Opportunity teams’ methodology and instrumentation reveals that data was contaminated and confounded by numerous uncontrolled variables including problems with instrument calibrations and they relied on inference, speculation, data manipulation, and spectra from panoramic images that were selectively eliminated in a failed attempt to make it conform to laboratory samples. The iron-rich radiation-intense Red Planet provides an ideal environment for fungus and lichens to flourish and promotes growth and sporing and production of melanin which protects against while simultaneously utilizing radiation for metabolic energy. Algae secrete calcium and lichens and fungi produce calcium oxalate that “weathers” and dissolves minerals and metals which are utilized as nutrients and are stored on cellular surfaces. Terrestrial species are iron-rich and precipitate hematite which makes these fungi and lichens ideal bioindicators of metal and minerals; whereas on Mars they are likely supersaturated with these and other minerals and metals as reflected by spectral data. Fungi and lichens secrete calcium oxalate which coats and surrounds mycelium, but upon exposure to dry surface conditions forms waves of calcium “cement” that may cement these organisms to layers of calcium oxalate fossilizing and making them “harder than rock.” Yet others grow out of the ground and are obviously alive. Given evidence documenting biological residue in Martian meteorites, biological activity in soil samples, seasonal increases in methane and oxygen which parallel biological fluctuations on Earth, and pictorial and quantitative morphological evidence of stromatolites fossilized tube worms and metazoans, growth of mushrooms and fungi, and vast colonies of rock-dwelling lichens, it is concluded that the evidence is obvious: There is life on Mars.
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The results of thorough bacterialpaleontological study of the Orgueil meteorite are presented in this illustrated Atlas of microfossils (both prokaryotic and eukaryotic) found within freshly fractured interior surfaces of the meteorite. More than 60 images obtained with Scanning Electron Microscope are presented.
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The discovery and subsequent investigations of atmospheric oxygen on Mars are reviewed. Free oxygen is a biomarker produced by photosynthesizing organisms. Oxygen is reactive and on Mars may be destroyed in 10 years and is continually replenished. Diurnal and spring/summer increases in oxygen have been documented, and these variations parallel biologically induced fluctuations on Earth. Data from the Viking biological experiments also support active biology, though these results have been disputed. Although there is no conclusive proof of current or past life on Mars, organic matter has been detected and specimens resembling green algae / cyanobacteria, lichens, stromatolites, and open apertures and fenestrae for the venting of oxygen produced via photosynthesis have been observed. These life-like specimens include thousands of lichen-mushroom-shaped structures with thin stems, attached to rocks, topped by bulbous caps, and oriented skyward similar to photosynthesizing organisms. If some of these specimens are fossilized is unknown. However the evidence of so many different types of life-like specimens make it almost indisputable that there is life on Mars. The overall body of evidence indicates are likely producing and replenishing atmospheric oxygen. Abiogenic processes might also contribute to oxygenation via sublimation and seasonal melting of subglacial water-ice deposits coupled with UV splitting of water molecules; a process of abiogenic photosynthesis that could have significantly depleted oceans of water and subsurface ice over the last 4.5 billion years; and, which would have provided moisture to these Martian organisms and their ancestors.
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Billions of years ago, the Northern Hemisphere of Mars may have been covered by at least one ocean and thousands of lakes and rivers. These findings, based initially on telescopic observations and images by the Mariner and Viking missions, led investigators to hypothesize that stromatolite fashioning cyanobacteria may have proliferated in the surface waters, and life may have been successfully transferred between Earth and Mars via tons of debris ejected into the space following bolide impact. Studies conducted by NASA's robotic rovers also indicate that Mars was wet and habitable and may have been inhabited in the ancient past. It has been hypothesized that Mars subsequently lost its magnetic field, oceans, and atmosphere when bolides negatively impacted its geodynamo and that the remnants of the Martian seas began to evaporate and became frozen beneath the surface. As reviewed here, twenty-five investigators have published evidence of Martian sedimentary structures that resemble microbial mats and stromatolites, which may have been constructed billions of years ago on ancient lake shores and in receding bodies of water, although if these formations are abiotic or biotic is unknown. These findings parallel the construction of the first stromatolites on Earth. The evidence reviewed here does not prove but supports the hypothesis that ancient Mars had oceans (as well as lakes) and was habitable and inhabited, and life may have been transferred between Earth and Mars billions of years ago due to powerful solar winds and life-bearing ejecta propelled into the space following the bolide impact.
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The finding of life on Mars, existing now or in the past, will certainly be one of the greatest adventures in the history of mankind. Further arguments are provided, strengthening an earlier claim, that among mineral bodies (dubbed "newberries"), imaged by the MER Opportunity in deposits of Late Noachian age (~3.8 to 3.6 Ga) exposed at the rim of Endeavour Crater (Matijevic Formation) objects occur that resemble fossils of Terran unicellular and colonial microalgae. The previously claimed algal affinities of these fossil objects is now supported by examples of "newberries" showing the presence of internal structures highly similar to daughter colonie characteristic for Terran volvocalean algae and cell-like objects enclosing objects reminiscent of chloroplasts characteristic for modern and fossil unicellular green and yellow green algae. A fluffy layer of stagnant water body is postulated as sedimentary environment promoting early post mortem silicification (Fe 3+ smectite) of the microalgae-like biota.
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Due to its significance in astrobiology, assessing the amount and state of liquid water present on Mars today has become one of the drivers of its exploration. Subglacial water was identified by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) aboard the European Space Agency spacecraft Mars Express through the analysis of echoes, coming from a depth of about 1.5 km, which were stronger than surface echoes. The cause of this anomalous characteristic is the high relative permittivity of water-bearing materials, resulting in a high reflection coefficient. A determining factor in the occurrence of such strong echoes is the low attenuation of the MARSIS radar pulse in cold water ice, the main constituent of the Martian polar caps. The present analysis clarifies that the conditions causing exceptionally strong subsurface echoes occur solely in the Martian polar caps, and that the detection of subsurface water under a predominantly rocky surface layer using radar sounding will require thorough electromagnetic modeling, complicated by the lack of knowledge of many subsurface physical parameters. Higher-frequency radar sounders such as SHARAD cannot penetrate deep enough to detect basal echoes over the thickest part of the polar caps. Alternative methods such as rover-borne Ground Penetrating Radar and time-domain electromagnetic sounding are not capable of providing global coverage. MARSIS observations over the Martian polar caps have been limited by the need to downlink data before on-board processing, but their number will increase in coming years. The Chinese mission to Mars that is to be launched in 2020, Tianwen-1, will carry a subsurface sounding radar operating at frequencies that are close to those of MARSIS, and the expected signal-to-noise ratio of subsurface detection will likely be sufficient for identifying anomalously bright subsurface reflectors. The search for subsurface water through radar sounding is thus far from being concluded.
Technical Report
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Throughout its mission at Eagle Crater, Meridiani Planum, the rover Opportunity photographed thousands of mushroom-lichen-like formations with thin stalks and spherical caps, clustered together in colonies attached to and jutting outward from the tops and sides of rocks. Those on top-sides were often collectively oriented, via their caps and stalks, in a similar upward-angled direction as is typical of photosynthesizing organisms. The detection of seasonal increases and replenishment of Martian atmospheric oxygen supports this latter interpretation and parallels seasonal photosynthetic activity and biologically-induced oxygen fluctuations on Earth. Twelve "puffball" fungal-shaped Meridiani Planum spherical specimens were also photographed emerging from beneath the soil and an additional eleven increased in size over a three-day period in the absence of winds which may have contributed to these observations. Growth and the collective skyward orientation of these lichen and fungus-like specimens are indications of behavioral biology; though it is impossible to determine if they are alive without direct examination. Reports claiming these Eagle Crater spheres consist of hematite are reviewed and found to be based on inference as the instruments employed were not hematite specific. The hematite-research group targeted oblong rocks which were mischaracterized as spheres, and selectively eliminated spectra from panoramic images until what remained was interpreted to resemble spectral signatures of terrestrial hematite photographed in a laboratory, when it was a "poor fit." The Eagle Crater environment was never conducive to creating hematite and the spherical hematite hypothesis is refuted. By contrast, lichens and fungi survive in Mars-like analog environments. There are no abiogenic processes that can explain the mushroom-morphology, size, colors and orientation and growth of, and there are no terrestrial geological formations which resemble these mushroom-lichen-shaped specimens. Although the authors have not proven these are living organisms, the evidence supports the hypothesis that mushrooms, algae, lichens, fungi, and related organisms may have colonized the Red Planet and may be engaged in photosynthetic activity and oxygen production on Mars.