There's a small chance this is one of the biggest findings in scientific history: turns out there's things that look surprisingly like tiny fungal puffballs on Mars, and they seem to grow.

Also, there seems to be something that looks like fungal growths on on rovers. Which as the authors' point out, could easily be contamination from earth. Even that would be a finding with huge implications: life growing on another planet. Sure, life we introduced. But still!

@pete @June @raye ah dang Mars mushrooms turns out to be nonsense :

the points about blowing sand and speed of growth in that atmosphere are good ones, regardless of the author's credibility

I want to belieeeeeeeve tho

@pete pretty fuckin neat

any reason why these wouldn't be noticed by now, assuming they have been there for a very long time?

@mithrandir They're very small, and they have been noticed for awhile. Scientists have been arguing about what they might be for some time, with many thinking they were just mineral deposits (there's no equipment on any of the Mara rovers that can directly measure the composition of these 2mm balls iiuc).

@doktorzhivago by definition, yes: relative to Earth being on Mars is extremely high, so collecting them in person gets you extraordinarily high. So does martian soil.

@pete well, either that or there is a wind moving the dark sand...

@pete Reminds me of an undergrad astro course I once took. Prof explains the US used to sterilize everything we sent to Mars, but it cost 10x as much since the whole probe had to then survive autoclave temps.

Meanwhile the USSR didn't do likewise for lack of funding.

As a result, there's now an agreement among the astro community, that no one *has* to sterilize anything bound for Mars as it's been "contaminated" at this point.

No idea if that's true, but the story stuck with me.

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