Life on Mars

Microscope image of an eight-legged creature, coloured pale brown, with a creased body that has formed what looks like a face with a snout coming out of itWell, on Earth, actually. In Gate of Tears I wrote about extremophiles and how they could be used to extract gold from sea water and became part of a plot to destabilise workd gold prices. Well, here’s an actual picture of one. How weird is that?

Extremophiles can survive conditions lethal to most life forms on Earth. This tardigrade, for example, can survive at temperatures near absolute zero, at pressures six times those on the deepest ocean floor, and even in the vacuum of space under cosmic radiation. Their existence could give clues to life on other worlds. (Courtesy: Eye Of Science/Science Photo Library)