A professor in Berlin believes NASA may have discovered alien life in the 1970s before accidentally killing it off.
Schulze-Makuch said that when NASA personnel added water to the Martian soil, it might have killed off any life that was lurking in the landscape.
The potentially life-killing experiment took place in the 1970s and was called the Viking Labeled Release test, which initially returned a positive test for metabolism.
However, a related mission found no trace of organic material.
According to Schulze-Makuch, the release of water containing a nutrient solution may have inundated the soil. As a result, he believes, any life "died off after a while" due to the amount of water distributed.
The theory is supported by conditions in the Atacama Desert in Chile, where microbes living inside salt rocks are similarly susceptible to the threat of water. The Atacama Desert has a similar landscape as Mars.
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Those microbes can survive without water and being inundated with too much of it can cause them to die off.
The two related missions took place on Mars on July 20 and Sept. 3 in 1976. The two landers had equipment that allowed them to search for any signs of life and study the soil and the atmosphere's physical and magnetic properties.
In a post on Big Think, Schulze-Makuch noted that scientists at the time concluded that there was no life on Mars because it did not have organic compounds present. However, he mentioned that a 2008 Phoenix landing discovered that indigenous organic compounds, in fact, do exist on Mars.
"Life on Mars could have adapted to the arid environment by existing within salt rocks and absorbing water directly from the atmosphere,'' he said. "The Viking experiments, which involved adding water to soil samples, might have overwhelmed these potential microbes leading to their demise.''
Aliens and UFOs have been at the center of much speculation in recent years.
The United States government has just recently began coming forward with declassified documents that detail reported UFO sightings among the military.
And earlier this month, three Congress members requested that the House sets up a select committee that will be dedicated to declassifying and presenting more information to the American people.
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