What Is the Mars Connection to Earth and Is There Life on Mars?

Mars.

In the northeastern part of the western hemisphere of Mars, there is an area of about 4.9 million square kilometers, which the U.S. Geological Survey calls the Acidalia Planitia. (Image: martinholverda via Envato Elements)

More than half a century after astronaut Neil Armstrong took man’s historic first steps on the moon; another space race is heating up. This time, man is aiming to set foot on Mars. The term “Mars migration” should not be new to you. It’s a project to bring people to the “red planet” in accordance with billionaire Elon Musk’s ambition. Is this possible? Isn’t it the common human perception that life can only be found on Earth?

“Migration” is a much bigger event than “setting foot” on Mars, not to mention the fact that humans have not yet set foot on the planet. So what kind of planet is it to you? Is there a connection between Mars and Earth?

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First, let’s turn our attention to the red neighboring planet in our solar system. In the northeastern part of the western hemisphere of Mars, there is an area of about 4.9 million square kilometers, which the U.S. Geological Survey calls the Acidalia Planitia. From a distance, this area looks like a giant burning spot. So scientists wonder why this area seems so different from the rest of Mars.

Is there something mysterious here? Today, we’ll talk about life on Mars and its relationship with Earth.

The mystery of the Acidalia Planitia: anomalous radioactive elements

NASA launched a probe to this area at the start of the 21st century and discovered that this place has surprisingly high uranium and thorium content, both containing radioactive elements that are good nuclear fuel and usually found in the form of ore on Earth. But among the rocks of Mars, the content of both uranium and thorium is extremely low, and it is unlikely that the rover will detect them. So why have they been detected now?

There is only one explanation: these two elements are not found in underground rock formations but on the surface of Mars. This situation is like the nuclear accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union in 1986. There were four nuclear reactors at the plant, and one of them exploded. As a result, high doses of uranium isotope cesium-137, strontium-90, and other radioactive materials were thrown onto the land. These highly radioactive elements turned the land into toxic soil.

The situation is similar in the Acidalia Planitia on Mars. A physicist named Dr. John Brandenburg put forward a bold hypothesis in his book Life and Death on Mars, suggesting that there was a nuclear war on the planet, a war that destroyed a thriving Martian civilization as well as the planet’s magnetic field. This resulted in the disappearance of the Martian atmosphere, and the solar wind and ultraviolet light turned the planet into a dead world. His book was published in 2011, but this claim was made four years earlier.

The boy from Mars

In our previous articles, we discussed a Russian boy named Boriska Kipriyanovich, who was only 11 years old when he claimed that he was a Martian in his previous life. He said that Martians are about seven feet tall, and many of them are immortal and stopped aging at the age of 35.

Boriska said the Martians breathe not oxygen, but carbon dioxide. This is because Mars lost its atmosphere after a catastrophic nuclear war. So this Martian boy, what’s his story? Boriska was born in 1996 in the Russian city of Volgograd. His mother, a pediatrician, said that their eyes are usually unfocused when babies are born. However, with Boriska, he looked straight at her as soon as he was born, making her heart skip a beat.

The little boy was able to talk when he was a few months old and was reading and drawing when he was one and a half years old. He was talking about the solar system when he was three years old. Professor Vladislav Lugovenko at the Russian Academy of Sciences became so interested in the Martian boy that he brought him to the Institute for testing.

Boriska, who was only 5 years old at the time, started talking to the professor about the structure of the DNA double helix, the solar system, and the names of many galaxies that the professor had never even heard of. Professor Lugovenko was stunned; he used an instrument to test Boriska’s aura and found it much stronger than the average person. He also has a strong telepathic ability and a remarkable memory. Listening to the little boy talk eloquently about Mars, the professor was in awe.

Is the little boy telling the truth? Did life exist on Mars?

Artist's rendering of the rover, Perseverance, on the surface of Mars.
Since the 1960s, humans have launched about a dozen uncrewed spacecraft to Mars. (Image: via NASA)

The story of a meteorite

Since the 1960s, humans have launched about a dozen uncrewed spacecraft to Mars. We now have a general understanding of the planet, and as far as the eye can see, the surface of Mars is covered with rocky dunes. It’s dry and cold, with temperatures that can drop as low as -133°C and soar as high as 30°C in the summer.

The thin atmosphere of Mars has no way to block the ultraviolet rays and radiation from space; coupled with the ultra-low air pressure, no living creature on Earth can survive in this environment. So for most of the last century, the scientific community would have laughed at anyone who said there is life on the planet. 

Then, one day in August 1996, journalists and photographers flocked to NASA in Washington, D.C., in a frenzy. Everyone’s attention was focused on this small plastic box. What did it contain? It was just a little rock, but it came from Mars.

The rock (ALH84001) had been lying peacefully on Mars for about 4.5 billion years, but it is hypothesized that it fell into space by chance about 16 million years ago, and for what reason, that is still a mystery. The rock drifted through the solar system until 13,000 years ago, when it broke through the Earth’s atmosphere and became a meteor, burning up and falling onto Allan Hills in Antarctica, where it lay quietly for more than 10,000 years before being picked up by a geologist in 1984.

This was quite a significant discovery because, although humans have launched countless probes to Mars in the last century, there have never been actual soil samples returned to Earth.

This meteorite picked up by chance was the first sample, so the scientists were understandably excited. Among the meteorite fragments were magnetic iron oxide crystals, referred to as “magnetite crystals.” A team of researchers from the University of Nevada discovered in 2011 that the crystals were produced by a magnetotactic bacterium called bw-1, a single-celled microorganism found in almost all bodies of water on Earth. This remarkable discovery was later published in the 2011 issue of the journal Science.

Not only were there magnetite crystals, but scientists also found spherical chains among meteorite fragments and similar chain structures among some of the Earth’s ancient fossils. According to paleontologists, these chains in Earth’s fossils were formed by bacteria. So now that similar chains have been found among the fragments of Martian meteorites, does it mean that bacteria on Mars also created it?

David S. McKay, the chief space biologist at the Johnson Space Center, believed that these two pieces of evidence were solid enough. He then announced that life existed on ancient Mars. Heated discussions broke out within the scientific community, and people were surprised.

There were two polarizing views. One faction favors evidence supporting life on Mars, while the other believes that the evidence is far from sufficient and is not enough to draw conclusions. Due to the contentious nature of the topic, it became imperative to find further evidence. This is also one of the reasons why countries are in a race to launch advanced probes to Mars. If there were life on the planet, future colonization would be possible, and whoever goes first will be at an advantage. 

Mars probes rotating around Mars.
In July 2020, the United States, China, and the United Arab Emirates launched probes to Mars. (Image: via NASA)

The latest discoveries

In July 2020, the United States, China, and the United Arab Emirates launched probes to Mars. There was a reason for this timing because the planet reached its closest point to Earth, and it would be another 26 months before it was this close again.

The U.S. Perseverance rover was the first to arrive in a crater called Jezero in the northern hemisphere of Mars. Three months later, the joint Chinese and UAE rover Zhurong also landed on the plains near the crater.

What is so special about this crater?

It so happens that this crater is suspected to be a delta formed by an ancient river injecting into a lake or ocean, just like the alluvial plains on Earth. If life existed on Mars, such places would generally be filled with flora and fauna. However, boulders and pebbles at the top of the delta gave scientists a strong indication that this was once an alluvial plain. The large boulders weigh several tons, and underneath the boulders are tiny sediments.

NASA researcher Ken Williford said that this layering indicates a slow-moving river filled the ancient lake. The fine sediment drifted down the waters and settled into a sloping delta. The upper boulder was probably brought from elsewhere by a great flood, so it is very different from the lower layer of fine sediment. In other words, there was likely a big flood here, so there will be signs of life.

Through the photos sent back by the probe, scientists believe that according to the geological appearance of Mars, large amounts of water existed billions of years ago, and most of the northern hemisphere of the planet should have been the ocean. Astrophysicists believe that the early atmosphere of the planet may have been rich in carbon dioxide, which can also produce a greenhouse effect and warm the surface. It is possible that Mars had a warm climate millions or even billions of years ago.

So with plenty of water, a warm climate, carbon dioxide breathing Martians, when we put these elements together, you can see that the boy’s story from Mars is not so hard to accept. So how did this planet become the dead planet it is today?

Nuclear explosion on Mars.
The boy from Mars said that the purpose he came to Earth was to warn people against war because Earth was already showing signs that a nuclear conflict could happen in the future with Mars as an example. (Image: via Pixabay)

The death of Mars

The boy from Mars said that the environment changed dramatically because of a nuclear war, and his race on the planet mainly became extinct. Only a small number of survivors went into the dungeon and survived. Then, like a spaceship pilot, he fled to Earth and was reborn as an Earthling, but kept memories from his previous life.

The boy from Mars said that the purpose he came to Earth was to warn people against war because Earth was already showing signs that a nuclear conflict could happen in the future with Mars as an example. Now, we turn back to the piece of Martian meteorite fragment from 13,000 years ago that NASA found on Earth. For this rock to be able to break away from the gravitational pull of Mars and fly into space and then be captured by the Earth’s gravitational field, there would need to have been a powerful force.

The most common explanation is an asteroid impact. There is another possibility that every mainstream scientist has thought about, but does not want to say. It is possible that the rock came from an explosion on Mars itself, and the vast shock wave threw the debris out of the Martian orbit. This fragment of a Martian meteorite, which ended up on Earth and is suspected of bearing signs of life, provides a trace of indirect support for the ancient nuclear explosion on Mars. There is a surprisingly consistent association of Mars to war and killing in ancient folklore and tales.

Mars and Earth

In ancient Chinese astrology, Mars was also known as “Xingxu,” representing war and death. In ancient Indo-Vedic astrology, Mars is also a malefic planet, representing the god of wrath. Mars corresponds to Týr, the god of war and courage in Norse mythology. Týr fought with Garmr, the evil dog of hell, and then died together, suggesting the calamity of Mars. In ancient Greek and Roman mythology, Mars was represented by Ares, the god of war. The ancient Romans considered themselves to be descendants of Mars, and their force was so great that the Roman army was the strongest army on Earth before the Middle Ages. 

From ancient myths to the discovery of signs that life existed on the planet long ago, Mars was a story of a once vibrant and high-tech civilization that was suddenly wiped out by a nuclear war. It turned the planet into a red star of death. A few survivors fled to Earth, retaining their Mars memories, such as Boriska, the boy from Mars. Perhaps this is to warn us Earthlings of the perils of nuclear war. Mars’ yesterday could be Earth’s tomorrow.

Will the history of Mars repeat itself on Earth?

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