Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Discovery of lake on Mars points to life almost four billion years ago

See also

A team of researchers from NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover mission reported the discovery of evidence that a lake existed on Mars 3.6 billion years ago that may have sustained primitive microbial life in the Dec. 9, 2013, issue of the journal Science.

More Photos

The scientists based their conclusion that life may have existed on Mars on the chemical analysis of a set of sedimentary rock outcrops at a site named Yellowknife Bay in Gale Crater, near the Martian equator. Gale Crater is a 90 mile wide impact crater with a mountain at its center.

The scientists determined the lake had fresh water and may have lasted for hundreds of thousands of years. The lake may have dried up and been refilled numerous times based on the present evidence from the geological strata.

The presence of water and the direct evidence that water did exist on Mars in the ancient past as well as the presence of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur in the same location are sufficient evidence to conclude that microbial life of some nature may have existed on Mars at one time.

The chemical and geological evidence are not sufficient in themselves to support the claim that life did exist on Mars in some primitive form 3.6 billion years ago or at any other time.

The presence of an impact crater with all the necessities to produce a simple life form like life on Earth is highly possible. If that life form did exist, it could have been deposited by the asteroid or comet that created Gale Crater.



  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • Purchase Your Pair of Google Glass Today
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518193403" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Camp Invention
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Stanford scientists Matthew Kanan and Christina Li have created an oxide-derived copper catalyst that converts carbon monoxide to ethanol.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518178005" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!