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Let’s say the future has come and mankind has managed to populate Mars and get comfortable there. What would a Martian colonist look like after thousands of years? Would his appearance be different from that of an earthling?

Photo: Joseph Ventura / Artist's idea of ​​how people might look after several thousand years of life on Mars
Photo: Joseph Ventura / Artist’s impression of ​​how people might look after several thousand years of life on Mars

Scientists say that prolonged residence on the Red Planet, where gravity and sunlight are weaker than on Earth, and radiation is much stronger, will lead to rapid evolutionary changes. Experts even believe that Martians can turn into a new kind.

“Two populations of the same species, settled in different isolated territories, begin to differ from each other – remember the Galapagos finches studied by Charles Darwin. The finches living on one island are different from the finches on the other island: in different territories they have signs that help to survive in the very environment where they settled, Biologist Scott Solomon writes 

in his book Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution. – If speciation on Earth’s islands takes thousands of years, then on Mars this process will go much faster due to the huge difference in conditions. In just 100-200 generations, or 6000 years, a new kind of person may appear on the Red Planet.”

The new kind?

Six thousand years is a short time for a person to change beyond recognition. Modern Homo sapiens exist as a separate species for an estimated 160,000 – 45,000 years. And some scholars doubt the words of Solomon.

Biologists Philip Mitterreker of the University of Vienna in Austria, says :

“Speciation is a lengthy process that usually requires reproductive isolation (the inability of members of one population of a species to interbreed with another – Ed.) for millions of years and a large population. Some human groups have been isolated for thousands of years and are still far from becoming a separate species. Therefore, it is unlikely that the people who colonize Mars will last for 6,000 years. On the other hand, conditions on the Red Planet are suitable for minor physical changes to begin to appear among the colonists after a hundred generations.”

For Mars to undergo any evolutionary changes:

1) natural selection should work;

2) the local habitat must be different from the terrestrial. If you create completely terrestrial conditions on the Red Planet: strengthen gravity, put artificial lighting, produce the same food as on Earth, people will not change;

3) differences in conditions should not be too strong so that the population does not die in the first weeks.

How Martians will differ from earthlings

Bones

When a person settles on the Red Planet, he will no longer need a heavy, well-mineralized skeleton. The attraction on Mars is much weaker than the Earth, the colonist’s weight here will be almost 3 times less, which means that the load on the skeleton is lower. The need for massive bones will disappear, the body will become unprofitable to spend energy on their content.

“People with heavy bones will spend more calories, energy and minerals to build their skeleton, so on Mars they will “lose” evolutionarily to people with thin bones,” Drobyshevsky notes in the lecture.

The same goes for the digestive tract. In conditions of reduced gravity, a person needs less energy for walking and physical labor, so he will not consume as much food as on Earth. The digestive apparatus will contract, the bodies of the colonists will become narrow.

Photo: Ville Ericsson / Colonization of Mars as an artist
Photo: Ville Ericsson / Colonization of Mars

When the Martian arrives on Earth, people will see a thin man with fragile bones. The weight of a Martian will increase almost 3 times: a 38-kilogram individual on our planet will weigh 100 kilograms, this will cause an additional load on his bones. Most likely, he will not be able to move around without help, he will need a cane or a wheelchair. Another “surprise”: a Martian colonist could injure their chest even with a friend’s “pat in the back”.

Heart

A Martian visiting Earth will die after some time from heart failure.

On the Red Planet, in conditions of low gravity, the heart muscle does not need to work so hard and contract quickly to pump blood through the circulatory system, as on Earth. Therefore, the Martian’s heart will become “weaker”, that is, less “trained.” In terrestrial conditions, it simply can not cope with the load.

Eyes

Mars is much farther from the Sun than Earth. The red planet receives 1.5-2 times less light, because of this the eyes of the colonists can change.

“A sunny day on Mars is like a cloudy day on Earth, – explains Natalie Kabrol, a planetologist at SETI. – Our eyes are accustomed to a certain amount of light. Martians will have to adapt to new conditions: either the brain will develop a new method that allows the retina to perceive and process more of the light that is, or over time, the colonists will have more eyes.”

Skin

There is not much sunlight on the Red Planet, but the ultraviolet radiation (UV) subtle Martian atmosphere transmits many times more than the Earth.

On our planet, for UV protection, the skin produces the pigment melanin, or rather, its variety – eumelanin , which acts as a natural sunscreen and gives the skin a brown tint. The more eumelanin in the skin, the better the ultraviolet rays are absorbed, and the darker the skin color becomes.

Photo: mic.com / Colonization of Mars as an artist
Photo: mic.com / Colonization of Mars

In his book, Solomon writes that people who have more eumelanin will be better able to withstand extreme ultraviolet radiation on the Red Planet. Therefore, the skin of the Martians will be much darker than anyone on Earth.

To summarize

In the crowd, an earthman will easily notice a Martian. A guest from another planet will be distinguished by very dark skin, a narrow body, large eyes, and will move on a wheelchair.

Most likely we would see a Martian dressed in a protective suit, since direct contact with the earth’s environment for him could end in disrepair.

So far, scientists believe that there is no microbial life on Mars – pathogenic bacteria and other “creatures harmful to the body.” Therefore, the immune system of the colonists will stop working in the form in which it works for us – it will lose the ability to fight earthly infections. In order not to die, the Martian on Earth will never have to take off his protective suit and eat only sterilized food.

Post scriptum

All the information cited in the article is hypothesis based on the tenets of evolutionary biology. It is impossible to know exactly what adjustments nature will be made in the appearance and organism of Martians.

If the colonists really change a lot and differ from earthlings, what will we consider them? Aliens, or just another species?

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Space

A “Meteorite” falls in Nigeria destroying more than 100 houses and leaving a huge crater

On the morning of Saturday 28 March 2020, a large meteorite crashed in Akure (Nigeria), destroying more than 100 houses and leaving a 21-meter crater on the ground. Experts from the Awbaowo University of Obafemi (Nigeria) denied the local police who initially claimed that a bomb explosion had created the 21-meter crater.

According to Nigerian sources, the explosion destroyed the Akure-OVO road and seriously damaged dozens of houses, from 50 to 100, as well as schools and churches.

It is interesting that initially the authorities denied the meteorite’s fall and claimed that the cause for the explosion was a truck with explosives, which was transported to a neighboring state. Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said the blast was an accident.

Then the version changed and the truck was no longer just transporting explosives, but it was supposedly a terrorist act.

Now, a team of experts and scientists came to the conclusion that everything that happened was a fall of a large meteorite.

The blast that shook Akure, the state capital of Ondo, on Saturday, was caused by a giant cosmic rock, a team of experts concluded.

Led by Adepelumi Adekunle, a professor of geophysics and seismic engineering at Obafemi Avolovo University, the team said that the meteorite entered the atmosphere of our planet at a “43 degree angle”.

Adepelumi Adekunle’s report reads:

“My research team conducted a detailed analysis of the impact site. A round impact crater was discovered with a diameter of 21 m and a depth of 7.8 m, which indicates a natural phenomenon.

– It was found that water is oozing from the edges of the crater. Preliminary field studies of vibration, noise, seismicity, analysis of water, radioactivity, rocks and soil were carried out.

“Our findings suggest that the impact of the explosion covers a radius of 1 km from the vicinity of the crater.” No signs of fire or burning were found in the vicinity. “

“No signs of radioactive radiation were found within the crater and in the immediate vicinity of it. Field data indicate that a meteorite from the asteroid belt was moving at high speed from space, and fell at an angle of 43 degrees in the southwestern part of the country “

A local source said that after the incident, no one was missing and no one was killed. The most interesting thing in the report is the mention that “unusual stones and strange metal objects” were found inside the crater. So what actually fell in Nigeria – a meteorite or a UFO?

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Space

Something strange is happening with the interstellar comet 2I / Borisov

When astronomers see something in the Universe that at first glance seems to be one of a kind, this will certainly cause great excitement and attention.

This mysterious guest from the depths of space first attracted the attention of celestial observers at the end of August 2019, when it was officially discovered sweeping through the solar system along a trajectory indicating interstellar origin.

After analyzing the object, astronomers identified it as a comet called Comet 21 / Borisov, which is the first identified comet and the second observable interstellar alien after the infamous Oumuamua, who arrived here from another star.

NASA claims that they do not know where and when the comet began to move towards our Sun. Gravity of the Sun slightly deflects its trajectory, but cannot capture it due to the shape of the orbit and its high speed of about 160,934 km / h.

Hubble showed that the comet’s heart, a loose accumulation of ice and dust particles, was probably no more than 975 meters across, about the length of nine football fields.

Now, this month, astronomers have discovered that something strange is happening by checking the object.

In the next video, nemesis maturity explains what happens to this mysterious interstellar guest.

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Space

Hundreds of exoplanets with two suns discovered

Until recently, in search of inhabited exoplanets, binary star systems were completely undeservedly ignored. Exoplanets with two suns have long become familiar places where the events of science fiction novels and films are unfolding.

One of the most striking and well-known examples of this is the desert planet Tatooine, the birthplace of Anakin and Luke Skywalker in the famous Star Wars movie saga. But only in 2011, NASA scientists using the Kepler space telescope were able to provide clear evidence that such exoplanets that revolve around two stars at once really exist. The planet discovered then was called Kepler-16b.

Despite the impressive discovery, scientists continued to believe that such planetary systems are extremely rare due to the complex attraction of two suns at once. But this opinion turned out to be completely wrong, writes astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter in an article for Space.com. This was revealed as a result of a new analysis of millions of stars and the discovery of exoplanets that have been recorded and cataloged by the ESA space telescope since 2013.

In fact, there are only two scenarios in which planets cope with the complex gravitational forces of two stars. If the stars are located very far apart, the planet can rotate around one star – then the other will be visible from the surface of the planet as a brightly shining star in the sky. In another case, both stars are close to each other – then the planet rotates at a safe distance around its double sun, as if it were just one celestial body.
These seemingly unbelievable stellar constellations are likely to occur much more often than might be expected.

Researchers have discovered during their targeted search already 300 exoplanets that could “boast” of double suns. Until now, astronomical science has actually ignored binary stars to search for (inhabited) exoplanets, because scientists considered their occurrence extremely unlikely in principle. In the case of discovered 300 planets, it is most likely a question of constellations, in which binary stars were incorrectly interpreted by the telescope as single stars.

Sutter speaks of decades of scientific confusion and uncertainty: “Since we did not often pay attention to the search for planets in binary solar systems, we had little chance of finding them. We didn’t look for anything like that, therefore we didn’t find it. The researcher believes that the realization that such double suns are very common should definitely be considered when searching for new exoplanets.

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