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Tridymite discovered on Mars

Updated on November 21, 2016
Cartoon of Mars featuring Martian rover meeting the alleged face on Mars.
Cartoon of Mars featuring Martian rover meeting the alleged face on Mars. | Source
Image of the planet Mars
Image of the planet Mars | Source
Image of Olympus Mons biggest volcano on Mars
Image of Olympus Mons biggest volcano on Mars | Source

When we hear some news about Mars on what may or may not be there whether that be methane supposedly from farting Martians or a magnificent photo released showing an enlarged picture of the Martian surface many of us get excited.

Humans have always had a thought that Mars could harbour life whether that be Martians coming down to attack us or images of canals on Mars. Those canals though turned out to be nothing of the kind and so far the rovers and probes we have sent to Mars have not seen any little green or grey men come to that preparing an invasion fleet to come to Earth.

Back in the 70's the Viking probe did soil analyse of the surface and it seemed scientists could not really work out whether the results they got from the soil sample was chemistry at work or biology which as a Mars buff infuriates me to this day.

Water exists on Mars locked up in both polar caps and water is known to run on Mars and there is a good chance water exists underground. Every picture NASA release of pics sent back by the Martian rover currently climbing Mount Sharp has alien hunters scouring these photos in case ET is hiding behind a rock. But purportedly these alien hunters have come up with all manner of creatures supposedly roaming the surface from a small ghost woman, to another woman sticking her hand in the air, to bears, crabs, giant worms, iguanas and ufos and so it goes on.

I am not here to argue who is right or wrong on the above because the alien hunters no matter what NASA says to make their observations look ridiculous that can be put down to more human mistaken identity images will stick to their guns believing NASA is hosting a cover up. Would NASA do that well as a straight scientific organisation who would surely like to believe there is life on the red planet just like the army of alien hunters they have to be cautious and not just jump to a conclusion like "Oh theres a crab coming out of a cave on Mars". Scientists have to investigate all ways of looking at an image from Mars and if a supposed alien animal turns out to be a rock then its a rock. However while I am not a conspiracy theorist myself per se but it does make you wonder if the government and NASA would with hold information about life on Mars or any where else come to that perhaps because the shock it would be for people and our culture in general. Although with television programmes and movies like Star Trek and Star Wars we have become accustomed to aliens I think the shock would still shake people but thats my take.

What scientists have discovered though is of a real interest because an element has been discovered called Tridymite and that only comes from volcanoes after lava comes into contact with ocean water. Mars is thought to have had oceans 4 billion years ago so maybe this is certainly food for thought but this discovery if it is tridymite shows Mars had quite a violent volcanic past. Mars does not have tectonic plates as the Earth does which would result in a more violent volcanic activity and while this was thought not to be the case as scientist Doug Ming says "Always expect the unexpected when it comes to Mars".

Martian surface
Martian surface | Source

Mars facts.

1) Mars fourth planet from the sun.

2) Landmass of Earth and Mars similar though Mars is half the size of the Earth.

3) 16 of the 39 missions to Mars have failed.

4) Olympus Mons tallest mountain/volcano on Mars.

5) Named after Roman God of war.

6) Mars has seasons like Earth.

Phobos one of the Martian moons
Phobos one of the Martian moons | Source

Some facts of Phobos and Deimos.

1) Mars has two moons called Phobos and Deimos.

2) Named after Greek/Roman Gods Phobos means fear and deimos panic.

3) It is thought the Martian moons are asteroids that were captured by Mars and its gravitational field.

4) It is thought the moons used to be between Jupiter and Mars before being captured by Mars and that brought them into Martian orbit.

5) The Mars Express spacecraft is currently observing both the moons.

6) Moons Discovered in 1877 by Asaph Hall.

Roman town of Pompeii destroyed by Vesuvius some have posed the theory any life on Mars could have been destroyed by volcanic activity
Roman town of Pompeii destroyed by Vesuvius some have posed the theory any life on Mars could have been destroyed by volcanic activity | Source
Some observers say they can make out petrified buildings or bodies but it could also be people seeing things that are not there.
Some observers say they can make out petrified buildings or bodies but it could also be people seeing things that are not there. | Source
Multiple nuclear blasts could be responsible for Mars and its seemingly lifeless surface today or some other wmd
Multiple nuclear blasts could be responsible for Mars and its seemingly lifeless surface today or some other wmd | Source

Volcanic eruptions destroyed Martian or even nuclear war.

When you hear some of the theories posed by both geeks and some scientists about why Mars appears so lifeless today as compared to 4 billion years ago when the planet may have been teaming with life and was covered with oceans you think are they serious.

For example some alien hunters who scour the Martian surface for images released by NASA say they can see buildings or bodies as if destroyed by a volcano and indeed Mars does have such a powerful volcano Olympus Mons. They see petrified bodies and buildings akin to the Roman ruins of Pompeii destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius where even today the Italian government is on alert should an eruption happen again.

Olympus Mons is a massive volcano and if indeed it erupted as you think of volcanoes erupting you would imagine it could do some damage. However scientists say Olympus Mons is a different kind of volcano to Vesuvius and it would not erupt in the way Vesuvius would. The fact that Tridymite has been found or suspected of being found by the Mars Rover seems to make scientists think that Mars had a very turbulent volcanic history more than they once thought.

Now allowing for the fact that life evolved on Mars some 4 billion years ago how far did this supposed life get? Was it just microbes and bacteria or did higher forms of life evolve akin to animals and plants we know on Earth today? Can we even stretch our imaginations to suppose an advanced race of beings sprang up when Mars was wetter and had a more thicker atmosphere than it does today?

With a stretch of the imagination it is possible that all this life was destroyed by multiple volcanic activity which has left the planet in the way it is today. A cold arid desert like world with a thin atmosphere where life may still be hanging on with conditions worse than the Antarctic is today or there is another extreme theory that all life as we know it any way was destroyed by a nuclear war or some weapon of mass destruction and believe me this has been suggested as a theory by some serious people in the know.

If there are indeed petrified bodies and buildings than we shall know soon enough when humans arrive on Mars with proper scientists who can investigate for past life or life that is still surviving now. Obviously robots like the Martian Rover or hovering mother ships can tell us much but at the end of the day humans with the aid of technology once on the surface will have to get down and dirty and dig into the Martian past to see what may or may not be there.


Earth life on Mars

Martian life may already exist on the surface of the red planet and I am not talking the home grown variety although that may exist too. I am talking about microbes and bacteria and viruses that have been carried to the red planet by Earth spacecraft like the Mars rover doing the rounds on the Martian surface.

Humans are good at introducing invasive species either deliberately or unwittingly and these invasive species can have a sometimes negative affect on native flora and fauna. This has occurred as humans have moved around the globe and what affect any Earth life will have on Mars and native life there is hard to say.

However scientists say Martian and Earth life has been going back and forth between the two worlds for millions of years on meteors so spacecraft from Earth carrying life to Mars is nothing new.



Bacteria may have been carried to the red planet by Earth spacecraft and be thriving there now.
Bacteria may have been carried to the red planet by Earth spacecraft and be thriving there now.

More Mars in fiction

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