Smack in the middle of nowhere northwestern Australia, scientists have recently discovered detectable signs of earliest life on the planet that they are dating at 3.5 billion years. Given current estimates that our earth is 4.5 billion years old, this finding of microbially induced sedimentary structures can now be said to serve as an indication that we have now found the first demonstrable evidenced of life on the planet.
If, in fact, we are all native Aussies, that fact would be based on the conclusion that scientists in this remote region of the world have discovered, in the Dresser Formation, the first organisms in the entire fossil record to be oxygen-producing.
Writing in the Astrobiology Journal, scientists involved in the work say that this can be “one of the most ancient signs of life on earth.”
There are many reasons to visit Australia. Now we have a new one. Western Australia is currently one of the world’s best sites for uncovering signs of ancient life. Microfossils from the Marble Bar area go back more than 3.4 billion years.
If, as appears likely, we are all descendants of Australians, it would seem appropriate to put a shrimp on the Barbie, open a can of Fosters, and contemplate how travel to the land down under is really a trip home, to see the family.