Life Facts

  • Life is only known to exist on Earth, but in 1986 NASA found what they thought might be fossils of microscopic living things in a rock from Mars.
  • Life on Earth probably began 3.8 billion years ago.
  • The first life forms were probably bacteria which lived in very hot water around underwater volcanoes.
  • Most scientists say life’s basic chemicals formed on Earth. The astronomer Fred Hoyle said they came from Space.
  • Basic organic (life) chemicals such as amino acids have been found in nebulae and meteorites (see meteors).
  • Huge lightning flashes may have caused big organic molecules to form on young Earth.
  • Earth is right for life because of its gas atmosphere, surface water and medium-hot temperatures.
  • Mars is the only other planet that once had water on its surface – which is why scientists are looking for signs of life here.
  • Jupiter’s moon Europa may have water below its surface that could spawn life.