At first sight, the microfossils found in ~4.28 billion-year-old rocks in Quebec are no more than tiny filaments and tubes. But on a closer look they can be records of the first microbes on Earth, and this means life on Earth could have emerged much sooner than what we thought!
These results were published in Nature yesterday (1st March 2017), describing micro structures similar to modern microorganisms found in sea-floor hydrothermal vents – famous environments when it comes to theories on the origin of life. Indeed Quebec was probably deep under the sea ~4 billion years ago – so that adds up! :p
These microfossils made room for a lot of high-thinking theories like: If Earth had life so “soon” after its formation, so could Mars! This is because Mars is believed to have had liquid water back then, so if these fossils really are microbes then whatever we may find on Mars in near-future can be very similar! Or even better – these first Earth microbes could actually have come from Mars on a meteorite :p #spacemicrobes #wemightallbemartians
Ok, getting back to real science. The problem here is that proving fossils are originated from microbes and not just simply by other geological processes is hard, and it makes this a very controversial topic. Until now, the accepted earliest evidence of life on Earth is the one found in rocks in Western Australia with 3.48 billion years.
I’ll keep you posted! :p
Find more on