back to article Martians lived underground, say Oz boffins

A group of Australian scientists have created a “whole of planet” model that suggests large parts of Mars are capable of supporting life – as long as it doesn’t mind living underground. Instead of the piecemeal approach followed by most astrobiologists – which, it must be said, is fair enough since the various probes sent to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beware Dragons!

    So then, exactly as Oliver Postgate predicted...

  2. Lord Lien

    I think they should...

    ... round up a few "undesirables". Pop them into a rocket & send them of to Mars. The neds that frequent the High Street on a weekend would be a good place to start looking.

  3. Charles Osborne

    So, Nigel Kneal was right...

    About the grasshoppers living underground and using tube stations. Must have felt quite homey to them.

    (Mine's the one with the optic-encephalograph in the pocket.)

  4. Kharkov

    Didn't Doctor Who do an episode about this?

    You can just see it, can't you? Old Jon Pertwee in his velvet smoking jacket in the caves?

    More seriously though, human colonists are, at least in the 2nd wave, going to be living at least partially underground to get some radiation cover over themselves.

    And that's when the bacteria gets them...

    If Hollywood haven't got a script ready for this then they should have!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course

    there's microbes there. Life exists here in the absolute harshest of environments including hot, dark rock, hot, dark, pressurized water, solid ice and everything in between. It will be no different on Mars in areas that have the same basic conditions as areas on Earth. What will the religionistas do when Earth isn't the center of life in the universe? Oh, that's right, be full of shit just like the last couple thousand years of narrow-minded narcissism ..

  6. Mikel

    Recalculate for Ceres

    I hope they redo the math for Ceres. Men are actually likely to live there one day.

  7. Youngdog


    That is all

  8. CraigW

    hypothermophilic chemolithotrophs

    Try saying that five times quickly whilst drunk.

    Or once, entirely sober.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is that a typo?

      Breaking it down (roughly, using schoolyard Latin):

      Hypo: less

      Thermo: heat

      Philic: loving

      So that would be "Less Heat Loving" which has to be similar to "Heat Fearing" or Thermophobic. i.e. They like cold places, which is not what the article describes.

      Hyperthermophilic makes a lot more sense as this is "More Heat Loving" suggesting they like really hot places (not just hot, but really hot).

      Google has ~17k hits for hyperthermophilic chemolithotrophs, but none for hypothermophilic chemolithotrophs.

  9. Local Group

    I remember it well.

    It was the Middle-mars period, what, about 3 million years ago. Indeed, the hobbits lived comfortably under the ground, unmolested by the orcs. But then that was before Mordor rose out of the depths and so on and so forth.

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