June 15, 2024 at 3:33 pm

Mysterious Blobs Led To Life On Earth, According To New Research

by Melissa Triebwasser

Source: Unsplash/Action Vance

Do we owe life on Earth to Alien matter located deep within it?

A recent report published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters contends that not only did a powerful collision between Earth and protoplanet Theia create the Moon, it may have deeply impacted the formation of life on Earth.

Mysterious blobs have been discovered that may well have led to the development of plate tectonics, the geological process that eventually formed the conditions that allowed life to flourish on Earth billions of years ago.

The collision was so violent, it ejected material from Earth that allowed the Moon to form.

Source: Unsplash/Pedro Lastra

It also left mysterious blobs buried deep within the Earth’s core, that, according to a report in the Washington Post, scientists think led to the development of plate tectonics.

These plate tectonics were integral to the formation of life on Earth and still trigger earthquakes and volcanoes in the present day.

“The giant impact is not only the reason for our Moon, if that’s the case, it also set the initial conditions of our Earth,” coauthor and California Institute of Technology geoscientist Qian Yuan told the Washington Post.

Researchers such as Yuan believe that 200 million years or so after the initial impact, the blobs kickstarted “strong mantle plumes” that initiated a process called subduction, with slabs of the Earth’s crust sinking below other slabs.

Source: Unsplash/NASA

It’s impossible as this juncture to prove one way or the other what actually happened, as obviously record-keeping billions of years ago was a little dodgy. And not every scientist buys that the blobs are responsible for the formation of plate tectonics.

“We need to bear in mind there is insufficient evidence for us to ever really know what the tectonic mode was in the Archaean,” University of Maryland geoscientist Michael Brown, who was not involved in the study, told WaPo, referring to the Earth’s second of four geologic eons that lasted from four to 2.5 billion years ago.

“So from a philosophical standpoint, it’s almost certainly unknown and unknowable,” he added. “I think that point sometimes gets lost.”

Can we trace life on Earth back to mysterious, alien blobs?

We may never fully know, but it’s an interesting debate nonetheless.