“Alien Algae” Found On Upper Stratosphere Research Balloon

alien algae

Evidence that Earth was “seeded” by life from above? Medical Daily reports:

Did a British research balloon pick up extraterrestrial life as it skimmed the stratosphere during the annual Perseid meteor shower?

Yes, [says] astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe and his fellow scientists, who claim that the microscopic algae detected on the balloon’s sterile slides “can only have come from space.” In a study presented at the Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology conference in San Diego, Calif. last month, the team theorized that the seeds are constantly transported between planets by asteroids, comets, and other cosmic wanderers.

“The entities varied from a presumptive colony of ultra-small bacteria to two unusual individual organisms – part of a diatom frustule and a 200 micron-sized particle mass interlaced with biofilm and biological filaments.”

The presence of stratospheric life would back the panspermia hypothesis – the popular astrobiological view that life is promulgated by itinerant repositories of microorganisms that “impregnate” planets.

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  • Richard Johnson

    Perhaps the word “alien” is no longer appropriate. It appears that the observation that all life is one is slowly being confirmed as we reach out in our hunger for accurate knowledge of who and what we are. I think we will soon find that we are all one infinite family in LOVE as we cast off the insanity of hate and fear based religion that is currently threating the viability of all life on planet earth!

  • Charlie Primero

    “… if you trust astrobiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe and his fellow scientists,”

    Wa? Why does the author include this ?

    • Cortacespedes

      Cause the guy is a bit of a “crackpot”. “The Lancet” has criticized his work a few times and it would seem, he has “creationist” leanings.

      Now, one can live with the Lancet condemnation, but creationism?

      He has also gone on to hypothesize that Mad Cow, Spanish Flu, and SARS are also from space.

      • Charlie Primero

        Ah. I didn’t know that. Thanks.

      • Anarchy Pony

        A prion disease from space?

        • Cortacespedes

          I am sure it has to do with cattle mutilation, combined with brain eating aliens.

          • Anarchy Pony

            But where do Mulder and Scully factor in?

  • jasonpaulhayes

    Creationists are going to love this, claiming its evidence that God rains down life from the heavens to evolve as they slowly attempt to merge evolution and creationism in the minds of the faithful by way of Conservative Think Tanks. It’s as predictable as Alex Jones calling every shooting or bombing a False Flag 10 minutes after it happens.

    • Charlie Primero

      You seem to suffer the myopic understanding that “creationism” consists of nothing more than American redneck fundies with an aversion to book learnin’.
      “Creationism” is waaay more complicated and interesting than that. Seek out more detailed information.

      • jasonpaulhayes

        Your statement is telling of your projections as I never mentioned America, Rednecks or Fundamentalism. I’m well aware that Creationism is a part of Hinduism, Islam, Judaism etc. It’s neither complicated nor interesting “That’s just like, your opinion Man”, this Dude does not abide.

        • bsackamano

          Maybe but simply using the name Alex Jones we understand YOUR prejudices against alternative thinking, being on this site notwithstanding.

          • Anarchy Pony

            There’s alternative thinking, and then there’s being an unhinged paranoid nutjob. If you like AJ go to infowars, he doesn’t have a lot of fans here.

          • jasonpaulhayes

            Priceless !

    • Anarchy Pony

      10 minutes? He must be getting old.

  • Microhero

    If there’s life in the stratosphere why would you call it alien… life can thrive in all sorts of places why not the stratosphere.

    Panspermia is an interesting and very appealing theory but saying that what they caught “can only have come from space” sounds like he might be ignoring other possibilities so as to fit his expectations.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090318094642.htm

    http://www.universetoday.com/98497/hunting-for-high-life-what-lives-in-earths-stratosphere/

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=scientists-say-they-have

  • Anarchy Pony

    Did someone just get a copy of Andromeda Strain?
    P.S. the 70′s tv movie based on it is surprisingly excellent.

  • philip d

    Let’s not get too excited. First of all where in the Stratosphere were these samples collected? The Straosphere: “At moderate latitudes the stratosphere is situated between about 10–13 km (30,000–40,000 ft; 6–8 mi) and 50 km (160,000 ft; 31 mi) altitude above the surface…” -Wikipedia

    It’s already well known that bacterial life has been found and survives in the lower stratosphere. The top of Mt. Everest’s summit is essentially touching the lower stratosphere. Bar-headed geese have been reported to fly over the summit and in 1975 a Rüppell’s Vulture was ingested into a jet engine 11,552 m (37,900 ft) above the Ivory Coast. So it’s safe to say that we know that not only do microorganisms occupy part of the stratosphere so do macro-organisms. I don’t think anyone is going to make the claim that geese and vultures come from outer space.

    “The presence of stratospheric life would back the panspermia hypothesis”.

    Is that really the most logical assumption. If we have found evidence of life living (including birds) in the lower stratosphere with very few experiments and very little effort so far, then why would it be more logical to jump to the conclusion that it came from space rather than accepting that the lower stratosphere or possibly a large portion of the stratosphere is simply the upper boundary of the Earth’s biosphere.

    The same applies to the lower end of Earth’s biosphere. We keep learning more and finding more species living further down into the Earth’s crust than we originally thought possible. It doesn’t mean that we should form a theory that life sprang from the center of the Earth.

    I think a lot of people got a little too excited and began dreaming a little too much after it was discovered that organic molecules can be created not just on large bodies like planets and moons but on much smaller bodies like comets and asteroids. Although this is one of the most surprising and exciting finds in the history of biology it in no way supports the idea that complex life with metabolisms like bacteria could be created in these environments.

    • Sasi Kumar

      May I point out that the stratosphere is not at the same altitude at all latitudes? The top of the troposphere may be as low as 6-8 km near the poles, but rises to close to 17 km near the equator. Therefore, it is utterly wrong to say that the top of Mt. Everest is in the stratosphere. Unless it has grown in height recently, that is.

  • bsackamano

    Yes, but ultimately that algae has to come from somewhere, how could you get spontaneous generation in the void of space? Unless perhaps space is not the coffin that it is popularly understood to be. How would moisture be generated by radiation and gases in interstellar space to support algae? Fascinating.

  • Rob Lai

    Hey, upper-atmospheric algae! I think there’s a couple steps of we need to go through between where we’re at and saying its ‘alien’, but still, even if it doesn’t turn out to be alien, its definitely interesting!