"OSIRIS Mars true color" by ESA / CC BY-SA 3.0

Little Green Men? Nope, Extraterrestrial Life May Look More Like Pasta.

Jun 4, 2019

By Stephanie Pappas

To find life on Mars, scientists should keep their eyes peeled for pasta.

Hot-spring-loving microbes create rock formations that look like fettuccini or capellini, according to a new NASA-funded study published online April 30 in the journal Astrobiology. Such pasta-shaped formations could be the first clues to life on other planets, said study author Bruce Fouke, a geobiologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“If we go to another planet with a rover, we would love to see living microbes or we’d love to see little green women and men in spacecraft,” Fouke told Live Science. “But the reality is we’re going to be looking for life that was probably growing in a hot spring, life that was fossilized.”

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