If you thought life on Earth began in the sea, then you may be sorely mistaken if this fascinating new study is anything to go by.
All this time we thought life as we know it started off in the sea, but now new research suggests this may not have been the case…
Researchers analysing red rocks in Pilbara, Western Australia, have now come across new evidence to suggest life on this planet may have actually begun on land instead.
According to the scientists, these bizarre fossils contain hot spring deposits, which are apparently the earliest known remnants of life on land.
The analysts – who published their findings in the journal Nature – found the rocks date back to 3.5 billion years, which moves back evidence of life on land, to an incredible 580 million years.
The scientists found signs of stromatolite fossils – formed by cyanobacteria, for those who are keen to know – among the remains from the freshwater hot springs, found in the Dresser formation of the ancient landscape.
With this discovery in mind, they concluded land must have appeared on Earth a crazy 130 million years earlier than they first thought and life possibly did not begin in the sea at all, but on land-based hot springs.
So now I’ve got to try and ‘un-know’ everything I thought I already knew and it’s just blown my mind. Well and truly.