How did life begin? The biggest question mankind has asked itself. Where did we come from? The idea that gods from the heavens had provided the seed of life has been supported by many researchers. End of the day we may have been looking into the correct direction: a breakthrough study claims that the so-called building blocks of life, the elements that are the backbone of organic molecules which form living matter, came to Earth from outer space.
Evidence of seeding
According to a team of researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and their colleagues from France and Taiwan, phosphates and diphosphoric acid, two major chemicals that form chromosomes carrying our genetic information, were generated billions of kilometers away from our planet and were delivered to Earth by space wanderers such as asteroids or comets.
The scientists used a vacuum chamber cooled down to near absolute zero to simulate interstellar icy grains coated with carbon dioxide, water, and phosphine.
When exposed to radiation, these grains created both phosphates and diphosphoric acid. “On Earth, phosphine is lethal to living beings,” said Andrew Turner of the University of Hawaii.
“But in the interstellar medium, an exotic phosphine chemistry can promote rare chemical reaction pathways to initiate the formation of biorelevant molecules such as oxoacids of phosphorus, which eventually might spark the molecular evolution of life as we know it.”
Scientists suggested that these phosphorus oxoacids could be traced back to an interstellar medium, the materials that fill the space between stars, which are delivered to Earth by comets or meteorites.
Panspermia is a mechanism that allows biology to spread through space without needing a spaceship. Living matter “hitches a ride on sunlight or inside rocks.” Some scientists believe that Mars was indeed inhabited at one time. Some space rocks were “kicked” off the planet and landed in a “suitably welcoming patch” on Earth. Biological material from Mars that was in the rocks may spur exploration into the search for the solution to the age-old question: Where do we come from and why are we here? There are several theories that relate to extraterrestrials.
There are suggestions that aliens escape from an unknown planet and come here due to dire circumstances on their home planets and most likely we are descendants of this race. Environmentalist and ecologist turned author Dr. Ellis Silver believes we may have come from Alpha Centauri. The planet may have suffered some type of cataclysmic event from which a few residents were able to escape and come to Earth.
Other scientists believe that, eons ago, Humanoids inhabited Mars but a war destroyed the livability of the planet. This could have been due to the equivalent of two hydrogen bombs exploding on Mars 300,000 to 1 million years ago. Is it possible some living beings were able to escape to Earth before the destruction?
There are many mysteries and controversial theories for which there seems to be more questions than answers.
The Physics of a Flat Earth Wouldn’t Be Pleasant
How would gravity work? Would we still have time zones? Change of seasons? Would the conditions for life here on Earth exist at all? Most early theories on the shape of the Earth were based on religious interpretations. But what about modern day believers in a non-round Earth?
Modern Day Flat Earthers
Some belief in a hypothetical Flat Earth continues to the modern day. Samuel Shenton established the Flat Earth Society in 1956, right around the beginning of the Space Race. While this iteration was less religious than previous or succeeding flat earth groups, Shenton did believe that Earth appeared round in photographs because of wide-lens cameras.
Today’s Flat Earth Society theorizes that the Earth is shaped like a disk, with the North Pole being located at the center and Antarctica being located around its edges. This theory is primarily based on interpretations of the Christian Bible. The first to popularize these theories was the 1865 book “Zetetic Astronomy: Earth Not a Globe,” by a man named Samuel Rowbotham.
Is this what the edge of a flat Earth looks like?
Modern day flat earth theorists believe that Earth’s gravity is actually an illusion driven by dark energy. They believe that day-night cycles are driven by the Sun and Moon, which they believe are 32-kilometer long spheres, rotating in circles and illuminating different parts of the planet. Flat earth theories also often overlap with other, shall we say, fringe theories, such as the theory that the moon landing was fake.
To this day, flat earthers believe that people who believe in a round Earth are the ones who are misinterpreting facts. After the solar eclipse of 2017, many flat earth adherents made videos using footage of the event to prove that the earth is flat.
Additionally, many modern day Flat Earthers believe that they have been lied to by the media on many topics, and the Earth actually being flat, rather than round, is simply a symbol of a larger issue. Flat Earthers often believe that others believe on a round Earth simply because they have not been shown the facts proving that the Earth is, in fact, flat.
The Science of a Flat Earth:
First of all, forget about walking to its edge. Gravity would simply not let you. Wait, would gravity even be possible on a flat Earth? The answer is yes, of course. The force of gravity is what keeps our planet, or any other planet, together. It’s what forms a planet in the first place.
In the case of a pancake-shaped Earth, the force of gravity would pull you to the center, and would become stronger as you tried to walk away from it, pulling the top of your body backwards. It would feel as if you were climbing a hill that was getting steeper, and steeper, and steeper… By the time you reached the edge, ‘down’ and ‘behind you’ would become the same direction. Sound weird?
Gravity would pull everything to the center of the disk.
How about water being sucked to the center of the Earth? Or diagonal trees, growing in the opposite direction of gravity’s pull? And then there’s the sun. How would a flat Earth behave in space? One flat Earth theory is that the Sun revolves around the Earth… Not the other way around.
What if the Sun orbited the Earth just like the moon does? In that case, you would never suffer jet lag, as there would be no such thing as time zones. The sun would light up both the top and bottom of the planet. This would mean constant light, no day-and-night cycle. Also no seasons. Or solar eclipses.
The sun itself would have to be much smaller. Otherwise it would burn the Earth to a crisp. It would probably fry the planet anyway, as there would be no geomagnetic field to protect the Earth from its radiation. The geomagnetic field is generated in the solid core of the Earth, and keeps our atmosphere from escaping. Without it, cosmic rays would bombard our bodies, causing everything from cancer to DNA damage.
The oceans would escape into space, and so would the air, and all our oxygen. But let’s assume that a flat Earth had an alternative to our magnetic field. This way you’d still be alive to notice some strange flat Earth-effects. Like your shadow.
Say you had a friend just as tall as you, and they lived a thousand miles away. On a sunny day, your shadows would be the very same length. Because, unlike here on a spherical Earth, the sun’s rays would hit both of you at the same angle. And if you two were to meet up, traveling would turn out very different.
A “flat-Earth” map drawn by Orlando Ferguson in 1893.
Let’s take a map introduced by the Flat Earth Society. Yes, the one that shows the Arctic at the center, and Antarctica as an “ice wall” around the edges. In such a world, it would take you 32 hours to fly from Australia to some parts of South America.
Did we mention there’d be no GPS? Satellites wouldn’t be able to orbit a flat Earth, leaving humanity with no navigation, and no synchronized time. This means no ATMs, no credit cards, and no high-speed market transactions.
On the bright side, with a good pair of binoculars you could see Dubai’s Burj Khalifa from any part of the flat world. But let’s be honest: you don’t need to build your own rocket to see the Earth is not flat.
The evidence is all around us.
New Research Adds Another Branch to the Evolutionary Tree of Life
The Tree of Life is a metaphor established by Charles Darwin to give some perspective to evolution. Every living organism on Earth has a home somewhere on the Tree, and by looking at it, we can see how species relate to one another.
While we’ve known about a type of microbe called hemimastigotes since the 1800s, it turns out we were totally wrong about where they fit on the Tree of Life — because they didn’t fit on any of the existing branches.
Home of Its Own
In a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, researchers from Dalhousie University detail their discovery that hemimastigotes are so unlike anything else in the Tree of Life, they require the creation of a brand-new branch.
“It was clear from our analyses that hemimastigotes didn’t belong to any known kingdom-level group, or even to a known ‘super-group’ of several kingdoms together, like the one that includes both animals and fungi,” researcher Alastair Simpson said in a news release.
“This one little collection of organisms is a whole new group at that level, all on its own,” she continued. “It’s a branch of the Tree of Life that has been separate for a very long time, perhaps more than a billion years, and we had no information on it whatsoever.”
Evolution of Tech
The Dalhousie team was only able to reach this conclusion thanks to an advanced genetic analysis technique that wasn’t available when scientists first discovered hemimastigotes.
“That such a distinct form of life could be hiding literally under our feet,” Simpson said in the press release, “is a sharp reminder about how little we still know about the diversity of life on Earth.”
And as our technologies advance even further, there’s no telling what else we might discover — or how many other branches we might add to the Tree of Life.
Hidden Crater Under Greenland May Explain Sudden Climate Change
Those looking to bolster their argument that not all climate change is manmade may have received an early Christmas gift – researchers have found a massive hidden asteroid impact crate under Greenland whose age coincides with the beginning of a previously unexplained cooling period about 12.000 years ago. Does this change everything?
“The crater is exceptionally well-preserved, and that is surprising, because glacier ice is an incredibly efficient erosive agent that would have quickly removed traces of the impact. But that means the crater must be rather young from a geological perspective.”
In a press release announcing the study “A large impact crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland” published in the current edition of Science Advances, co-author Professor Kurt H. Kjær from the Center for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark describes how researchers first found signs pointing to the existence of the crater under Greenland’s ice sheet in July 2015. It was not far from where a 20-ton iron meteorite had been discovered, but that wasn’t enough to connect the dots.
A German research plane from the Alfred Wegener Institute flew over the Hiawatha Glacier and, using a new ice radar system, was able to better image the depression and added to the evidence, exciting NASA glaciologist Joseph MacGregor. (Pictures here.)
“A distinctly circular rim, central uplift, disturbed and undisturbed ice layering, and basal debris. It’s all there.”
Surface expeditions in 2016 and 2017 collected samples of sediment washed out from under the depression and found the missing link.
“Some of the quartz sand washed from the crater had planar deformation features indicative of a violent impact, and this is conclusive evidence that the depression beneath the Hiawatha Glacier is a meteorite crater.”
The crater measures more than 31 km (19.25 miles) in diameter, which puts the size of the iron meteorite at 1 km (.6 miles) wide and puts the impact in the top 25 of Earth impact craters, making it a good candidate for causing ecological disasters. Ice layers show it’s at least 12000 years old and rock erosion samples say it’s no more than 3 million years old.
It’s the more recent date that has scientists linking the event to the Younger Dryas period – a sudden unexplained cooling during a time of global warming after the last ice age. Occurring about 12,900 to 11,700 years ago, geological records in the Northern Hemisphere indicate a swift drop in temperatures of 2 to 6 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit), increases in glacier ice and cold waters in the Atlantic and general drier conditions. While the cooling was widespread, a few areas, southeastern North America for one, had a slight warming. The Younger Dryas coincided with a number of human cultures shifting from hunting and nomadic life to agriculture and settlements. In North America, the Clovis culture declined and a number of animal species went extinct.
All of these things could certainly have been caused by a meteor impact of catastrophic size. Is that the answer to the cause of the Younger Dryas that scientists have been searching for?
“The next step in the investigation will be to confidently date the impact. This will be a challenge, because it will probably require recovering material that melted during the impact from the bottom of the structure, but this is crucial if we are to understand how the Hiawatha impact affected life on Earth.”
Sounds like Kjær is making his plans for next summer. Pack a parka, professor!
SOURCE: Mysterious Universe
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