Alien Life May Be “Weirder” Than Scientists Think

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 12, 2007 in Science |

An artist's rendering depicts NASA's Huygens probe floating in a lake of methane on Saturn's moon Titan. A new report says Titan is the best bet for finding weird life-forms that can thrive in extreme environments.

It’s life Jim, but not as we know it (yet):

Alien Life May Be “Weirder” Than Scientists Think

“Think life on Earth is weird? It might be even weirder on distant planets and moons, according to a new report. Instead of thriving on water, extraterrestrial organisms might live in a sea of liquid methane. Or instead of getting energy from the sun, they might thrive on hydrochloric acid. These possibilities could revolutionize future space missions in search of life elsewhere in the solar system, says the report, issued today by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

The report concludes that scientists need to consider an expanded list of characteristics that define life, including so-called “weird” life-forms that may thrive where Earth organisms couldn’t. Instead of dispatching spacecraft to dig into the subsurface of Mars, considered a prime candidate for primitive life because of its watery past, the report says the probes may have better luck on Saturn’s moon Titan, which has seas of liquid methane and ethane.”

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