Today on Discovery Enterprise we look at the exciting possibility that terrestrial life may have had an extraterrestrial origin and that the Earth in its infancy was seeded by microbes from outer space through a process known as Panspermia.
Clouds of alien life forms are sweeping through outer space and infecting planets with life – it may not be as far-fetched as it sounds and may explain the origin of life on Earth if not the origin of life itself.
The idea that life on Earth came from another planet has been around as a modern scientific theory since the 1960s when it was proposed by Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe. At the time they were ridiculed for their idea – known as panspermia. But now, with growing evidence, it’s back in vogue and even being studied by NASA. Yet, this hypothesis does not answer the question of how abiogenesis itself occurred. How did life itself come into being from inanimate matter?
In today’s feature BBC Horizon documentary we meet the scientists on a mission to get to the bottom of the beginnings of life on Earth – from the team in Texas who are lovingly building a robotic submarine called DEPTHX to explore a moon of Jupiter, to Southern India where they are investigating a mysterious red rain which fell for two months in 2001. According to local scientist Godfrey Louis, the rain contains biological cells unlike any he had seen before – with no DNA and the ability to replicate at 300°C. Louis has come to the conclusion that the cells are extra-terrestrial in origin.
Could all this really be proof that – We are the aliens?
Horizon – We Are The Aliens (2006)