Frances Westall, one of the lead astrobiologists involved in the European Space Agency’s mission to Mars, dismissed the conclusion of a recent study about octopuses’ “alien” origins.
Westfall thinks that the study’s conclusion that octopuses hatched from alien eggs after the pre-Cambrian mass extinction is wrong. She explained that some seeds and cells do survive in space, but for a short period of time. The study suggests that octopuses’ eggs traveled on icy bolides to Earth for thousands of years.
The researcher noted that many studies can cherry-pick data from the scientific literature to make a case for one theory or another.
Nature is incredible, and I do not think it is necessary to call on extraterrestrials to explain it,
Westfall said about the weird animals’ origins.
The theory advanced by the study is not new. It is called panspermia and it tries to explain the origins of life on Earth. The research paper was signed by 33 academics from several research institutes and published in the Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology.
A Controversial Theory
Panspermia is extremely controversial, with its supporters claiming that tiny microbial life traveled from one space body to another until making it to Earth. Researchers claim that the microbes were dormant and woke up on our planet.
After the hypothesized pre-Cambrian mass extinction, the planet was repopulated with many different critters. Their traces can be seen all over the fossil record. Panspermia supporters believe that the mass extinction was caused by a comet that bore the seeding for the planet’s generations of cosmic-derived viral genes and cells.
Study authors believe that octopuses eggs were crypto preserved on comets that hit the Earth. The theory could explain why all major life forms make a sudden appearance in the fossil record after the mass extinction.
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