back to article Arctic microbes 'could survive on Mars'

Canadian boffins say they have discovered a strange form of microbe living in remote Arctic springs which would, if taken to some parts of Mars, be able to survive there. The salt-domed Lost Hammer spring on Axel Heiberg island in arctic Canada. Credit: McGill uni You're not going to believe it, but I've actually lost my …


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  1. RyokuMas Silver badge

    Just as long...

    ... as we don't try sending any of these microbes there to see if they can survive:

    ... Sorry. Couldn't resist.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    This is how it starts

    look out AMFM, this is how the conquest starts. Years ago it was smallpox infected blankets, soon it will be Antarctic Springs water (conveniently infected with Mars-friendly bacteria).

    (insert edgy, but inevitably offensive, joke about Martian casinos here).

  3. strangefish

    excellent photo caption

    Title says it all. I'm probably a bit simple. Still chortling to myself :¬)

    1. Graham Marsden

      But what is a "bastard hammer"...?

      Is it a hand-and-a-half hammer?

  4. brumguvnor

    this always begs the question...

    Did extremophiles evolve in such harsh environments?

    Or did they evolve in more benign places and then move to the harsher places?

    If the latter then it would be hard for them to get started on Mars - unless of course the "warn, wet" theory of it''s past is true.

  5. Pirate Dave


    these microbes originally came FROM Mars and have been quietly and secretly building a microbe outpost here on earth for thousands of years. All just waiting for the signal from the mother planet to rise up and destroy the oxygen-breathers on Earth.

  6. ArmanX

    Re: Maybe

    But, due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was swallowed by a small dog.

    ...there needs to be a Douglas Adams icon.

    1. Pirate Dave


      I was getting there, but couldn't come up with a punchline. Was trying to work "bastard hammer" into it somehow, but nothing really seemed to work. I like yours.

  7. tas

    Teraforming here we come?

    What's betting these microbes and a few plants will be the first tools in the new science of Teraforming!

    Getting my coat for a spot of skinny dipping on Mars!

  8. gimbal

    Cool. Let's turn Mars into a planet-sized Petri dish!

    I say that with tongue in cheek.

    Truly, I wonder how the ethical debates would go, should humanity develop some plausible means for beginning to terraform another planet - taking, with some cuation, the proposition that they've discovered just that.

    Technically, I suppose it would involve a small army of robotic gardeners, let alone the means to transport and deliver the microbes to our next planetary cousin. Of course, the robotic gardeners would be easier to control, from a station in orbit around the red planet.

    But don't let met crowd anyone's smartypants feelings. It's just a thought, after all.

  9. Loki 1

    Here's what to do...

    1) Export a batch of these to mars

    2) Wait until the general public has forgot about it (about 5 minutes should do)

    3) Announce life has been found on mars.

  10. Rogerborg

    "Very" unique?

    As opposed to just regularly unique, slightly unique, or, uh, *actually* unique?

    Science ain't what it used to be. Also, policemen are getting younger.

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