Mars Life? Fungi-like Growth

There appears to be are images that researchers claim is life on Mars. Images taken by NASA’s Opportunity and Curiosity rovers as well as the agency’s HiRISE high-resolution camera attached to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter look a lot like Fungi on Earth. Fungi can live in extreme radiation. The researchers cannot completely rule out minerals, weathering, and unknown geological forces that are unique to Mars and unknown and alien to Earth. However, if they saw this on Earth they would definitively call it Fungi. A lot of follow-up work will be done to confirm what could be a historic discovery.

Total conclusive proof will require a sample return mission or sending some ultra-specialized gear to Mars.

UPDATE – It is likely a false claim. NASA did not have a press conference to announce it, the journal where it is published will publish almost anything.

Above – Photographed by Opportunity. Martian specimens approximately 3-8 mm in size resembling Puffballs (Basidiomycota), some with stalks or shedding white spore-like material (leprose).

Fungi thrive in radiation intense environments. Sequential photos document that fungus-like Martian specimens emerge from the soil and increase in size, including those resembling puffballs (Basidiomycota). After obliteration of spherical specimens by the rover wheels, new sphericals-some with stalks-appeared atop the crests of old tracks. Sequences document that thousands of black arctic “araneiforms” grow up to 300 meters in the Spring and disappear by Winter; a pattern repeated each Spring and which may represent massive colonies of black fungi, mould, lichens, algae, methanogens and sulfur reducing species. Black fungi-bacteria-like specimens also appeared atop the rovers. In a series of photographs over three days (Sols) white amorphous specimens within a crevice changed shape and location then disappeared. White protoplasmic-mycelium-like-tendrils with fruiting-body-like appendages form networks upon and above the surface; or increase in mass as documented by sequential photographs. Hundreds of dimpled donut-shaped “mushroom-like” formations approximately 1mm in size are adjacent or attached to these mycelium-like complexes. Additional sequences document that white amorphous masses beneath rock-shelters increase in mass, number, or disappear and that similar white-fungus-like specimens appeared inside an open rover compartment. Comparative statistical analysis of a sample of 9 spherical specimens believed to be fungal “puffballs” photographed on Sol 1145 and 12 specimens that emerged from beneath the soil on Sol 1148 confirmed the nine grew significantly closer together as their diameters expanded and some showed evidence of movement. Cluster analysis and a paired sample ‘t’ test indicates a statistically significant size increase in the average size ratio over all comparisons between and within groups. Statistical comparisons indicates that arctic “araneiforms” significantly increased in length in parallel following an initial growth spurt. Although similarities in morphology are not proof of life, growth, movement, and changes in shape and location constitute behavior and support the hypothesis there is life on Mars.

Sol 182 photographed by NASA Rover Opportunity. A majority of experts identified these specimens as “fungi” and “puffballs” (Joseph 2016). Note what appears to be white powderchunky-spore-like material (lepros) littering the surface (see Figure 14 for a 200% magnification of the white material lying upon the surface). Spherical specimens are approximately 3-8 mm in size.

SOURCES-Advances in Microbiology – Fungi on Mars? Evidence of Growth and Behavior From Sequential Images
Written By Brian Wang,