Charles Darwin’s theory of ‘warm little pond’ just got air when the scientists at the University of New South Wales discovered land fossils from the hot springs said to be 3.48 billion year old. This period dates back even 580 million years earlier than the scientifically proved existence of life on earth.
Evidence found in the Pilbara region of Western Australia is now the oldest proof of the existence of the microbial life stretching back the record of life existence marked in the South African hot springs.
According to one of the researchers at UNSW, the belief that the life originated from the ocean and then eventually to land has now been surpassed with this latest discovery which tells that the origin of microbial life has been in the hot springs on the land thus acknowledging ‘warm little pond’ concept of Darwin. UNSW student Tara Djokic adds that this discovery may help the study of the possibility of existence of microbial life on Mars since Mars has huge reserves of hot springs on its surface.
These deposits discovered, when tested in laboratory, showed geyserites as one of the constituents which consist silica and fluids exclusively found only in hot-spring surroundings. Apart from the geyserites, scientists also found out stromatolites which are rocks formed biologically with the species of microbes. The other finds include micro-stromatolites, microbial palisade texture and well preserved bubbles.
Based on the experience of discovery of hotsprings containing such fossils, the research team member Professor Kranendonk has also suggested NASA about the landing of aircraft on Mars in its trip under 2020 Mars Exploration Mission.
Pilbara is considered to be one of the most important regions where the exploration based on life origin can be carried out, which can parallely facilitate the research of existence of life on Mars.