Scientists believe they have found evidence of thriving microbes near hydrothermal vents on the Earth’s surface just 300 meters from Earth’s formation. Life started much earlier than is commonly thought.. From the report: If confirmed, it suggests that the conditions necessary for the appearance of life are relatively basic. “If life emerges relatively quickly under the right conditions, it increases the likelihood of life on other planets,” said Dominic Papineau of University College London, who led the study. Five years ago, Papineau and his colleagues announced the discovery of microfossils in iron-rich sedimentary rocks in the upper crust of Nuvvuagittuq in Quebec, Canada. The team suggests that these tiny filaments, handles, and tubes of iron oxide called hematite may have been created by bacteria living around hydrothermal vents that use iron-based chemical reactions to gain energy.
Scientific dating of the rocks puts them at least 3.75 billion years old, possibly 4.28 billion years old, which is the age of the volcanic rocks they are buried in. Years ago, potentially making Canadian specimens the oldest direct evidence of life on Earth. Further analysis of the rock now reveals much larger and more complex structures (stems with branches nearly a centimeter long on one side) and hundreds of distorted spheres or ellipsoids next to tubes and filaments. .
Microfossils may be evidence that life began ‘very rapidly’ after Earth’s formation
Source link Microfossils may be evidence that life began ‘very rapidly’ after Earth’s formation