Thursday, 15 January 2009

Life on Mars?

They don't make alien invasions like that any more do they? A classic Frank R. Paul cover for a reprint of Wells' War Of The Worlds: Martian tripods, heat rays, panicking crowds, all present and correct. 
The reality of life on Mars may be more prosaic: NASA have announced today the presence of methane gas on the red planet which could point to the existence of life. One theory is that organisms called methanogens living in underground water could be emitting this gas as a waste product. Here's a quote from today's Sun: "John Murray, a member of the Mars Express European space probe team, believes the mini-Martians may be in a state of suspended animation and could even be REVIVED." Is that such a good idea? Haven't these scientists ever seen Quatermass And The Pit? That's just asking for trouble.
Seriously, this is exciting news. Even if the only life on Mars turns out to be flatulent microbes it still means that life isn't exclusive to this planet, and somewhere in the universe there could be more advanced lifeforms. Hopefully without tripods and heat rays.

Soundtrack: Costello Music by The Fratellis.

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