Geologists: life on Earth began on land, not in the ocean

Geologists: life on Earth began on land, not in the ocean

MOSCOW, may 9 — RIA Novosti. Scientists have found in Australia some of the oldest traces of life formed in the vicinity of the hot geysers, on land of approximately 3.5 billion years ago, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

“The similarity in structure of deposits formation dresser and breeds of the modern geysers suggests that ancient hot springs are not very different in their appearance and properties from their modern “heirs”. Something similar could happen on Mars, and we should focus the search for life on its surface, studying similar deposits,” said Tara Djokic (Tara Djokic) from the University of New South Wales (Australia).

The first living organisms appeared on Earth during the Archean era, and while there is no generally accepted point of view about how and when life began. To date, there is some fossil evidence that germs already existed in the primary ocean of the Earth about 3.4 billion years ago, but many scientists believe that life could arise much earlier in this level.

In recent years, a growing number of evolutionary biologists come to the conclusion that life could not arise in Earth’s oceans and land surface, in lakes, and at vents of geysers and volcanoes. This is supported by the fact that the land was attended by a number of critical elements, including molybdenum, boron and nitrogen, which were very few in the “soup” of the primary ocean. The same is said of genetics, the genome of the recently raised “bows”, microbe-ancestor of all life on Earth.

The jokić and her colleagues found the first “real” evidence in favor of this hypothesis, conducting excavations in the West of Australia, where it is overlain by rocks of the dresser formation formed approximately of 3.48 billion years ago, in the supposed era of origin of life on Earth.

The region of Pilbara, where these deposits were one of the most powerful centers of volcanism on Earth in that era

Most of the volcanoes and hydrothermal vents were under water, but some of them, as told by the jokić, were on the ground.

Geologists have found traces of microbes in the “hidden” deposits of Balibari, but never tried to find them on the land, which, as believed by scientists, is inhabited by only three billion years.

It turned out that they were wrong — the team, jokić found many traces of microbes in two different sediments, so-called “geyserite” — rocks formed in water of geysers and hot springs. Inside them, scientists have found fingerprints of microbes, Pirita and minerals that are formed only in or in the presence of living organisms, as well as traces of gas bubbles, which arise from the desired bacterial proteins and other polymeric molecules.

Overall, according to geologists, these deposits do not differ from those that arise in modern hot springs and geysers in Yellowstone Park and other volcanic activity. Accordingly, it is possible to say that land geysers and volcanic “streams” could really be one of the first sanctuaries of life on Earth and on other planets such as Mars, where such conditions existed in the past.