A new possibility of life on Mars?

Cavern on Mars

A photograph taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) in 2011 has recently been released, showing what appears to be a sizable underground cavern on the slopes of Pavonis Mons, a Martian mountain standing 46,000 feet tall, higher than Mount Everest.

The possibility of underground caves on Mars is exciting for (at least) two reasons: if there’s any evidence of past or present life on Mars, this would be a good place to look, and it’s possible that such a site could host potential human settlements. The subsurface aspect of the site would protect from the sun’s radiation, and the cave is big enough to make it worth exploring.

A rover to Mars has been scheduled to launch in 2020. This cavern would be a prime target for exploration to evaluate the possibility of human colonization and to search for fossils of any lifeforms that may have been able to thrive beneath the surface of Mars. Either route of exploration could lead to an important discovery about life on Mars: whether it exists or once existed, or whether Mars could be suitable for life in the future.

4 thoughts on “A new possibility of life on Mars?

  1. its interesting that we still continue to speculate life on Mars despite its unlivable conditions. Perhaps martians have developed innate adaptation for life on Mars. The fact that water once existed on mars hint that Mars is more than meets the eye in terms of possibly having life. I do wonder whether this was cavern was sculpted or natural due to erosion and other conditions.

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  2. Woah! First, so cool that Mars casually has a mountain that stands higher than Mount Everest. Second, what is in that underground cave? I hope that the rover to Mars actually goes inside this cave and explores it. Also, while it is so easy to get high hopes for this mission, this very well could be nothing and just a natural formation. Who knows though, and this is why we should check and explore it!
    Do you think that there’s something that lived or currently lives in that cavern? Also, what else is the rover going to look for when it makes it to Mars?

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  3. Hi Jack!
    I had no idea that there was a large cavern in Mars! Although I wouldn’t want to get my hopes up for finding currently alive creatures on Mars, I definitely agree with your statement about how it would be a good place for humans to take shelter from the Sun’s rays, since Mars doesn’t really have an atmosphere, or at least, one that’s thick enough. That alone is worth scoping out the area for! Who knows, maybe we’ll discover microbes on Mars… or in the ice at the caps? I’m excited to find out the results of the journey!
    – Vivian Li

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  4. It’s interesting to see that we still speculate that Mar’s has life on it even though me know how unlivable the conditions are. I hope the Rover will be able to tell us if there is life on Mars or if there ever was life. That would be quite an interesting topic to look into because Mars has changed so much over time.

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