Mars could have been teeming with subterranean microbes |  News


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Ancient Mars may have had an environment capable of supporting an underground world teeming with microscopic organisms, French scientists reported Monday.

But if they did exist, these simple life forms would have altered the atmosphere to such an extent that they triggered a Martian glaciation that caused their extinction, according to the scientists’ conclusions.

The findings offer a bleak picture of the ways the cosmos operates. Life — even in its simplest form as microbes — “could actually routinely cause its own demise,” said study lead author Boris Sauterey, a postdoctoral researcher at Sorbonne University.

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