Unexpected Findings: Scientists Reveal Surprising Appearance of Aliens, Defying Expectations
alien life on the planet Saturn’s icy ocean moon, but are unsure of what the extra-terrestrials might look like.
The moon, Enceladus was already believed to have the possibility of UFO life, containing five of the six essential elements for creatures to survive.
Now, data from NASA‘s Cassini spacecraft has identified phosphates, with Frank Postberg, Head of Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing at the Freie Universität Berlin, telling Newsweek: “Phosphorus is seen as one of the six elements essential for life,” adding: “It is critical for DNA and it is also found in ATP, the energy currency of all our cells.”
Mr Postberg and his team were able to detect signs of phosphorus, or more generally phosphates, on the icy ocean world, adding: “That was seen as the last piece of evidence for what is needed for extraterrestrial life. And now we have found it! And that’s why everyone is pretty excited about it.”
The team published their research in the journal Nature, earlier this month, reporting that the element was found in water. Mr Postberg said: “The kicker here is that it’s dissolved in the ocean.
“It’s the first time that phosphates have been detected in any water outside of Earth. You find phosphates in meteoric rocks, for example, but life as we know it needs water to access it – it cannot access it in rocky minerals.”
“We still do not know for sure whether alien life actually exists on Enceladus, but this discovery makes the icy moon a prime candidate.
“We have found probably the most habitable place outside of Earth on Enceladus, but we still have no clue if life has actually used this opportunity and evolved there.”
Boffins at the University of Oxford, published in the International Journal of Astrobiology six years ago, predicted what the extraterrestrials might look like.
Sam Levin, chief executive of biotech start-up MelonFrost and former researcher at the university, told Newsweek: “What we were arguing was that we can actually use evolutionary theory to make all these predictions about life on other planets before we even find it.
“The texture, the colour and the types of sensing organs might be more wild than the imaginations of our best sci-fi movie set designers, but there are aspects in the organism’s design and function that will be super familiar.”
Life on Enceladus may have evolved differently to what we see on Earth, but Mr Levin said that evolutionary biology holds the solution.
He commented: “Darwin, for example, formed his theory of evolution without knowing anything about DNA or the biochemistry of life. There is only one way to get complex life and that is through evolution by natural selection.”
He added: “These entities will be designed to maximize their fitness. However wacky the blip bloops on Enceladus are, they will be trying to have more babies.”
The researchers were able to make predictions about what an extra-terrestrial organism might actually look like, in a paper entitled “The Octomite” – a creature that could reproduce itself.
However, any life form on Enceladus will have evolved under a very different set of environmental criteria, and most likely in total darkness.