ArticlePDF Available

Proof of Life on Mars in 200 Pictures: Algae, Microbial Mats, Stromatolites, Lichens, Fungus, Fossils, Growth, Movement, Spores and Reproductive Behavior

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

We present over 200 photographs that as a collective totality proves there is life on Mars. These include photos of Martian algae, microbial mats, stromatolites, lichens, fungi, fungus, fossils, tubular organisms; and sequential images documenting that Martian organisms are growing out of the ground, increasing in size, moving to new locations; and that fungi are engaging in reproductive behavior by shedding spores that produce embryonic fungus. This conclusive evidence represents the collective investigative efforts of several teams of scientific experts, 24 scientists in total, the names of whom are listed in the publications cited in the Reference section; each article discussing and providing scholarly references for the conclusions reached. This document consists almost entirely of photos and is arranged in 15 sections: (1) Algae and Microbial Mats; (2) Stromatolites; (3) Algae & Lichen-Algae; (4) Algae Fruiting Bodies and Networks of Calcium Oxalate; (5) Dimpled Lichens & Algae Fruiting Bodies; (6) Photosynthesis and Gas Bubbles; (7) Vast Colonies of Rock-Dwelling Lichens; (8) Fungal Puffballs (vs the Hematite Hoax); (9) Fungus, Spores, Reproduction, Embryonic Fungi; (10) Colonies Of Arctic Algae, Fungus, Mold, Lichens; (11) Growth, Movement, Behavior; (12) Fungus and Bacteria Growth on the Rovers; (13) Lichen Puffball Calcium Oxalate Fossils; (14) Fossils: Algae, Tube Worms, “Ediacarans,” Metazoans; (15) Tube Worms or Tubular Fungi? We conclude there is life on Mars.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... 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. ...
Article
Full-text available
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.
Article
Full-text available
The observation of tubular structures within Endurance Crater, Mars, has been reported by Joseph et al (2021a,b) who hypothesized these may be mineralized and fossilized remnants of tube worms that in the ancient and recent past flourished within lakes of water heated by thermal vents. The discovery of what may be spherical hematite in this same vicinity supports the hydrothermal vent scenario, whereas the claims by Joseph (2021; Joseph et al. 2021c) that these spherules are fungal puffballs does not. This evidence from Endurance Crater and associated mineralogy and chemistry is reviewed. We conclude that the ancient lakes of Endurance Crater may have been heated by thermal vents and inhabited by tubular organisms that became mineralized, as hypothesized by Joseph et al; and that these same hydrothermal vents formed hematite spherules as hypothesized by the rover Opportunity team.
Article
Full-text available
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.
Article
Full-text available
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.
Article
Full-text available
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.
Technical Report
Full-text available
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.
Article
Full-text available
Gale Crater was an ancient Martian lake that has periodically filled with water and which may still provide a watery environment conducive to the proliferation and fossilization of a wide range of organisms, especially algae. To test this hypothesis and to survey the Martian landscape, over 3,000 photographs from NASA's rover Curiosity Gale Crater image depository were examined by a team of established experts in astrobiology, astrophysics, biophysics, geobiology, microbiology, lichenology, phycology, botany, and mycology. As presented in this report, specimens resembling terrestrial algae, lichens, microbial mats, stromatolites, ooids, tubular-shaped formations, and mineralized fossils of metazoans and calcium-carbonate encrusted cyanobacteria were observed and tentatively identified. Forty-five photos of putative biological specimens are presented. The authors were unable to precisely determine if these specimens are biological or consist of Martian minerals and salt formations that mimic biology. Therefore, a review of Martian minerals and mineralization was conducted and the possibility these formations may be abiogenic is discussed. It is concluded that the overall pattern of evidence is mutually related and that specimens resembling algae-like and other organisms may have colonized the Gale Crater, beginning billions of years ago. That some or most of these specimens may be abiotic, cannot be ruled out. Additional investigation targeting features similar to these should be a priority of future studies devoted to the search for current and past life on Mars.
Article
Full-text available
New images from Mars rover Curiosity display millimetric, elongate stick- like structures in the fluvio-lacustrine deposits of Vera Rubin Ridge, the depositional environment of which has been previously acknowledged as habitable. Morphology, size and topology of the structures are yet incompletely known and their biogenicity remains untested. Here we provide the first quantitative description of the Vera Rubin Ridge structures, showing that ichnofossils, i.e., the product of life-substrate interactions, are among their closest morphological analogues. Crystal growth and sedimentary cracking are plausible non-biological genetic processes for the structures, although crystals, desiccation and syneresis cracks do not typically present all the morphological and topological features of the Vera Rubin Ridge structures. Morphological analogy does not necessarily imply biogenicity but, given that none of the available observations falsifies the ichnofossil hypothesis, Vera Rubin Ridge and its sedimentary features are here recognized as a privileged target for astrobiological research.
Article
Full-text available
The Mars rover Spirit encountered outcrops and regolith composed of opaline silica (amorphous SiO2 ·nH2O) in an ancient volcanic hydrothermal setting in Gusev crater. An origin via either fumarole-related acid-sulfate leaching or precipitation from hot spring fluids was suggested previously. However, the potential significance of the characteristic nodular and mm-scale digitate opaline silica structures was not recognized. Here we report remarkably similar features within active hot spring/geyser discharge channels at El Tatio in northern Chile, where halite-encrusted silica yields infrared spectra that are the best match yet to spectra from Spirit. Furthermore, we show that the nodular and digitate silica structures at El Tatio that most closely resemble those on Mars include complex sedimentary structures produced by a combination of biotic and abiotic processes. Although fully abiotic processes are not ruled out for the Martian silica structures, they satisfy an a priori definition of potential biosignatures.
Article
Full-text available
The study analyses possible parallels of the microbialite-known structures with a set of similar settings selected by a systematic investigation from the wide record and data set of images shot by NASA rovers. Terrestrial cases involve structures both due to bio-mineralization processes and those induced by bacterial metabolism, that occur in a dimensional field longer than 0.1 mm, at micro, meso and macro scales. The study highlights occurrence on Martian sediments of widespread structures like microspherules, often organized into some higher-order settings. Such structures also occur on terrestrial stromatolites in a great variety of ‘Microscopic Induced Sedimentary Structures’, such as voids, gas domes and layer deformations of microbial mats. We present a suite of analogies so compelling (i.e. different scales of morphological, structural and conceptual relevance), to make the case that similarities between Martian sediment structures and terrestrial microbialites are not all cases of ‘Pareidolia’.
Article
Evidence from Mars of what may be algae, thrombolites, microbialites, microbial mats, stromatolites, and ooids is summarized. Also briefly discussed is evidence of chlorophyll, seasonal fluctuations in atmospheric oxygen, and what may be photosynthesis-oxygen gas vents adjacent to specimens resembling algae and lichens. The possible presence of calcium carbonate and calcium oxalate is also summarized the latter of which might be produced by lichens: an algae-fungi symbiotic organism that Joseph et al. (2021) believe are attached to rocks on Mars.
Article
Evidence is reviewed which supports the hypothesis that prokaryotes and eukaryotes may have colonized Mars. One source of Martian life, is Earth. A variety of species remain viable after long term exposure to the radiation intense environment of space, and may survive ejection from Earth following meteor strikes, ejection from the stratosphere and mesosphere via solar winds, and sterilization of Mars-bound spacecraft; whereas simulations studies have shown that prokaryotes, fungi and lichens survive in simulated Martian environments-findings which support the hypothesis life may have been repeatedly transferred from Earth to Mars. Four independent investigators have reported what appears to be fungi and lichens on the Martian surface, whereas a fifth investigator reported what may be cyanobacteria. In another study, a statistically significant majority of 70 experts, after examining Martian specimens photographed by NASA, identified and agreed fungi, basidiomycota ("puffballs"), and lichens may have colonized Mars. Fifteen specimens resembling and identified as "puffballs" were photographed emerging from the ground over a three day period. It is possible these latter specimens are hematite and what appears to be "growth" is due to a strong wind which uncovered these specimens-an explanation which cannot account for before and after photos of what appears to be masses of fungi growing atop and within the Mars rovers. Terrestrial hematite is in part fashioned and cemented together by prokaryotes and fungi, and thus Martian hematite may also be evidence of biology. Three independent research teams have identified sediments on Mars resembling stromatolites and outcroppings having micro meso and macro characteristics typical of terrestrial microbialites constructed by cyanobacteria. Quantitative morphological analysis determined these latter specimens are statistically and physically similar to terrestrial stromatolites. Reports of water, biological residue discovered in Martian meteor ALH84001, the seasonal waning and waxing of atmospheric and ground level Martian methane which on Earth is 90% due to biology and plant growth and decay, and results from the 1976 Mars Viking Labeled Release Experiments indicating biological activity, also support the hypothesis that Mars was, and is, a living planet. Nevertheless, much of the evidence remains circumstantial and unverified, and the possibility of life on Mars remains an open question.