The former chair of astronomy at Harvard, Professor Avi Loeb, wonders whether an advanced alien civilization on Mars terraformed our planet making life possible.
As far as we know, Earth is the only planet in our solar system where life exists. But we are eager to find out whether this is truly the case. We have a couple of other good places to look in hopes of finding our cosmic relatives. The moons of Jupiter and Saturn are one such place to look, and future missions are set to look closely for any signs of life. But one of the closest planets to Earth, Mars, is another place where we search for life. We have discovered that in the very distant past, billions of years ago, the red planet was a world very similar to Earth. Based on the evidence we have gathered to date, Mars likely had an atmosphere, massive oceans, rivers, and lakes. In other words, it met all the necessary conditions for life as we know it to exist.
Life on Mars, Long before on Earth?
Long before Earth, Mars met the necessary conditions for life to arise. Whether this was the case is something we still do not know, but samples that are set to be returned from Mars to Earth for further analysis by the Mars Sample Return Mission could clear up a few mysteries. When Mars was a greenish world, with liquid water on its surface and an atmosphere that protected it from the harsh environment of space, Earth was a planet that was unlike anything we can imagine today. It was not a world welcoming to life. So what are the chances that life came into existence on Mars much sooner than it did on Earth?
Some 2.5 billion years ago
Things changed abruptly some 2.5 billion years ago. Mars lost its atmosphere and went from a planet where life could have developed to a frozen desert, similar to what we see today. Its oceans vanished, its rivers receded, and lakes dried up. We are studying the remnants of these bodies of water today. But when Mars lost its habitability, Earth gained it. The so-called Great Oxidation Event enabled aerobic metabolism and complex lifeforms, eventually resulting in the many species we have on Earth today.
A Martian civilization?
Now here is something that sounds like science fiction. Or does it? Professor Avi Loeb, the former chair of astronomy at Harvard and a leading astrophysicist has recently pondered about the possibility of Earth being terraformed by Martians. It might sound crazy to some, but hear him out. Was the curious timing event of Mars losing its habitability and Earth gaining its triggered by cause and effect?
This is something Professor Loeb asks in his latest piece on Medium. In an essay, the Harvard astronomer calculated if an advanced alien civilization originated on Mars twice faster as on Earth, eventually disappearing and losing its habitability, then all of the infrastructures on Mars would have long been destroyed and turned into dust by asteroid impacts. Curiously, “Alien hunters” have been wondering about this for the last ten years.
Did a Martian civilization terraform Earth?
But what if this advanced alien civilization had the means and technology to travel to other worlds and moons? What are the chances that such a civilization, who knew their planet would die, would terraform another world? Life, for example, Earth? As explained by Professor Loeb, the Great Oxidation Event and rise in cyanobacteria could have been artificially cultivated by “suppressing competing species, by seeding or by enhancing the nutrients that allowed cyanobacteria to thrive.” What are the chances, and is there even a remote possibility that an advanced alien civilization existed in our solar system long before the Earth was habitable? And what are the odds that such a civilization helped life on Earth come into existence? Find out more about this extraordinary theory here.