Microfossils at Strelley Pool hint at life on Mars

In Western Australia, there is a remote large, dry, thinly populated region called Pilbara, which is famous for its vast mineral deposits. In this Pilbara region, there is a site known as Strelley Pool, where in 2007, some of the oldest evidence of life on Earth was found in 3.4 billion-year-old sandstones.

These sandstones preserve fossils of sulphur-processing bacteria and recently; it has been proved that 3.4 billion years ago, bacteria thrived on an Earth that had no oxygen.

This finding is boosting hopes that life has existed on Mars. At Strelley Pool, the microbes, after dying, had been finely preserved between quartz sand grains. These one of the oldest rock formations, set down in the Archaean Eon when the infant Earth was a primeval water world, with seas that were the temperature of a hot bath.


Leave a Reply