A new and insightful study published by geochemistry department from the University of California reveals some stunning fact regarding the moment when life on Earth was created. Apparently, life on Earth appeared 4.1 billion years ago, 300 million years earlier than estimated.
According to the general perception among the scientist, life on Earth sprung up roughly 3.8 million years ago. The story of complex multi cell organism evolving from single cell organism is still in place, but the timeline has shifted a bit, refuting the traditional point of view.
After a little digging around, the team of geochemists have discovered a couple of stone fragments enclosed in a zirconium casing. It is a well-known fact that the mineral named zirconium, can be used to make jewelry and computer components. Yet, this mineral has a very special property. Basically, zirconium can be used to preserve virtually anything that becomes enclosed by it, be it stone, mineral or an organism.
Scientists have discovered a dike of zirconium which contain several stone fragments that predate the established time when life was found on Earth. Being a volcanic rock, the zirconium mineral was widely found on the planet’ surface when Earth began to take shape.
Although scientists have theorized for some time that Earth’ surface was inhospitable to any form of life in the first years of its formation, these rock fragments recovered from the digging site come to back up the geochemists’ theory.
Yes, now we can undoubtedly affirm that life on Earth was much older than we really though. Still, that doesn’t mean that mankind, as we come to know it appeared earlier. Even though single cell organism we’re thriving at the beginning, man first appeared roughly 200.000 years ago.
Also, the team of scientist state that the start of life in that period was almost instantaneously and the organisms evolved at a very fast rate. Why is this discovery of such magnitude?
Because life, as we come to know it, is much older than we can even begin to comprehend and because this theory gives us a new perspective on Earth’ structure back in those time.
Carefully backing up their findings with empirical data, the team of geochemists took the samples back to the lab where they performed a series of testes as to ascertain the validity of their claims.
The results are just stunning: a wider understanding of the way the miracle of life began on our cozy little planet.
Image source: www.upload.wikimedia.org