A Lake That Looks Like It Should Be On Mars

Grace Higgins | June 21st, 2020

Deep in a Canadian lake, you will find a whole team of scientists busy studying the freshwater corals and analyzing how extraterrestrial life might look like. When you are stuck on Earth there is only so much you can do when it comes to researching extraterrestrial life – how can we possibly figure out the conditions faced on another planet? This is exactly why astrobiologists are extremely excited by their studies in the Pavilion Lake of British Columbia in Canada.

netdna-ssl.com

The Pavilion’s lake floor is covered in coral reef-like structures that are the aftermath of microbes and minerals interacting for millions of years. They are thought to date back around 11,000 years, they heavily resemble what was on Earth some 540 million years ago. It is the diversity of the different structures of the coral reef here that makes it so exciting to be researched. Some look like strange cauliflower florets or artichokes whereas others look like chimneys and have finger-like protrusions. Some of the coral clings down in deep trenches which makes it an eerie looking place and fascinating at the same time.

And the idea is quite simple, scientists are trying to figure out how life looked on Earth millions of years ago to give them a better idea of what to scan for on other planets like Mars. They are busy sampling the lake’s components such as the water, sediment, isotopes, and DNA from the little organisms themselves. Once their tests are completed it will be a great way to devise ways of determining life possibilities on future missions to Mars or other planets.

When NASA astrobiologists Chris McKay dived the lake of Pavilion he famously said he felt like he had walked back through the eons of time. Others have commented that the rocky towards look like stalagmites that should be in a cave and not found in a lake. The exploration of the lake is also quite difficult which makes it a crucial training ground for helping astronauts and researchers get ready for the hardships and tough conditions of deep space exploration.

NASA along with other international space teams regularly uses the lake to not only advance research but also to inform their employees about the major risks of space exploration. The challenges found while conducting a scientific exploration of the lake are something that will be found when humans do encounter other planetary bodies and solar systems.

Next Article
  • Sally Ride First American Women In Space

    On June 18, 1983, NASA Astronaut Sally Ride became the first American woman to enter space. She launched with her four crewmates on the Shuttle Challenger, on mission STS-7. The ride had been selected with five other women to be part of NASA’s space program back in 1978. With the advances of the space shuttles...

    Read More
  • Reindeer In A WW2 Submarine

    One of the more unusual moments of World War II was when a British submarine transported around a reindeer it had been given by the Russians as a gift. In 1941, the crew of the HMS Trident was given a reindeer by the USSR navy. The reindeer then spent the next 6 weeks living with...

    Read More
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand Killed Over 300,000 Animals While Hunting

    Over one hundred years ago, the heir to the Astro Hungarian throne was a crazy guy called Franz. Well Archduke Franz Ferdinand to be exact, his assassination led to the turn of events that caused the start of World War I. Pulling in the Russian Empire, Germany, France, Italy, China, and the U.S. into one...

    Read More
  • The Legend Of Snake Rock In Naka Cave

    Naka Cave is found in Phu Langka National Park in Thailand, and in Thai it means snake. There is a real reason for this, the cave looks like a giant snake. The texture of the stones appears to resemble the scaled skin of a snake. Over the years there have been hundreds of articles publishing...

    Read More
  • Wife Carrying Is An Extreme Sport In Finland

    Over fifty men happily sling their wives or partners over their shoulders and run off into the race. An hour-long gruel through the Finnish town of Sonkajarvi and thousands of fans will be cheering them on. This is the extreme sport of wife-carrying in Finland. The World Wife Carrying Championships is now well into its...

    Read More
  • Aeschylus The Ancient Writer Killed By A Falling Tortoise

    Aeschylus is often regarded as the creator of the tragic genre. He is one of the early Greek writers whose plays have survived into the modern era, the other two being Sophocles and Euripides. Arguably, he is also the founder of serious Greek drama. Mostly we find that he added many more characters into his...

    Read More
  • For Europeans Hershey’s Chocolate Tastes Like Vomit

    If you ask any American they may tell you that Hershey’s is the chocolate to buy. But, if you ever offer one to a European then you may find they grimace at the thought. That is because, for anyone used to eating European chocolates, Hershey’s will taste like vomit. It is kind of like a...

    Read More