What would life on Mars be like?

Could there be life on Mars?  Scientists have long speculated (and continue to do so), although there’s more hope than ever.  They also wonder if humans might ever have a colony there.  But now the question is more like, “Would we want to?”

One of the reasons it’s improbable to find life on Mars is that the atmosphere doesn’t contain oxygen.  And it was thought that all organic life requires oxygen.  But a few years ago an organism was found that can live without sunlight and oxygen.  It’s a methanogen.  They eat hydrogen, breathe carbon dioxide, and belch methane.  A group of these were found in Idaho, living 660 feet underground.  They also exist in the digestive tracts of humans, causing gas.  If these bacteria are what life might be like on Mars, it might be a stinky place.

But there’s more.  Mars stinks naturally.  The surface of the red planet contains a very high concentration of sulfur.  Combined with other acids and minerals on Mars, it forms hydrogen sulphide (H2S), which is that rotten egg smell you may have experienced before.  And not only does it stink immensely, but it can cause headaches, and it is also explosive and poisonous.  So if you were living on Mars, you might be tempted to light a candle to reduce the stench (as some people are accustomed to doing), and KA-BOOM!

I’m thinking I’ll just stay here on Earth.  While there’s a few bad smells to deal with here, it’s not nearly so bad as it would be on Mars.

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15 thoughts on “What would life on Mars be like?

  1. Thomas Wayne

    Actually, I’ve been to Mars on a field trip one time. It was in college, back in the day, and it was top secret — that’s why you haven’t heard about it. But it’s just become declassified. We collected martian rocks and dust, and sold it to fund our trip and upgrade our scientific laboratories extensively. We didn’t see any martians, though. It did stink quite a bit, but I had figured that was my buddy Bubba, who had quite a bit of gas that day. Now, thanks to your article, I know that it always smells like rank farts on Mars, and I ain’t never going back.

  2. Not a Martian, but stayed at a Holiday Inn Express

    The next probe NASA sends to Mars should just light a match. It would be pretty cool to be watching from Earth, and see the entire atmosphere of Mars explode.

  3. Thomas Wayne

    Now that is a great idea! That would be a massive explosion, for sure!

    And I’d film it, to use it for special effects in any upcoming movies I happen to star in… the Moon doesn’t belong to anyone, despite what a few crazy people say, so there wouldn’t be any copyright infringement. And I don’t think people would get tired of watching it, either. It would be the largest man-created explosion ever. Maybe I should ignite it, then, so I’ll hold the Guinness world record for the largest explosion… Granted, some people might get upset if I blow up the atmosphere of Mars, but it’s not like anyone owns it, so nobody can sue me about it. I might have to do it…

    And with the atmosphere gone, I’m gonna put a new one there with oxygen in it, and I’m gonna patent it. So if any future space travelers or Martians go there, they have to pay me money if they breathe the natural air there. I will be loaded for life! This is my new life goal. Soon I’ll have enough money to retire, and you’ll find me playing video games and eating nachos. It’s gonna be cool! And all I have to do is create an explosion and transfer some oxygen there (which is freely available here). Oh, and I’ve already copyrighted the idea. You saw it here first.

  4. Thomas Wayne

    My comment should’ve said Mars. Someone must have edited my comment to make me look a fool. It does seem like some people around here are obsessed with the moon and blowing it up…

    I just applied for a restraining order against A.G.O.C., that he not be allowed to fart within 12 feet of me, because of his explosive sulphur and methane expulsions. It goes into effect immediately.

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  7. Thomas Wayne

    The A.G.O.C. is one of the regular readers here (and regular is a good choice of words). A.G.O.C. refers to “Active Gas On Command”. I have personally witnessed this terrifying phenomenon. So when he says “explosive sulfur” (or “mmm-bop!”), you should run away. Fortunately, interacting with him online shields us from such noxious fumes, so you are safe… for now.

  8. Tom Psillas

    Sorry Tom Wayne, I already claimed all the land rights on Mars.
    I plan to work with 4Frontiers Corp., to TerraForm Mars and make it habitable.
    Once, I terraform Mars, I can justify charging people to live there.
    Stay tuned.
    Visit RepublicOfMars.Org, the official government site of Mars to apply for your Tourist Visa and work permits.

  9. Thomas Wayne

    I figure land rights wouldn’t pertain to the air, so I can still explode the atmosphere of Mars. Nobody owns the air. MUWAHAHAHA!

    On that topic, if no one owns the air on Earth, how can Obama justify taxing us for pollution? His new cap-and-trade tax is probably to pay for his outrageous plans. But I reckon he’s never needed precedent before — just the Democrats to vote for his plans without even bothering to read them!

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