Mars was once much wetter than it is today. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Mars might be a cold, barren wasteland today, but millions of years ago its surface would have been awash with rivers and lakes of liquid water that could have potentially supported primitive life.
Now scientists have discovered even more concrete evidence of the planet’s watery past in the form of a colossal lake that would have held ten times as much water as all the Great Lakes combined.
The site was identified thanks to the detection of large mineral deposits hidden beneath the surface.
“Even if we never find evidence that there’s been life on Mars, this site can tell us about the type of environment where life may have begun on Earth,” said NASA’s Paul Niles.
“Volcanic activity combined with standing water provided conditions that were likely similar to conditions that existed on Earth at about the same time – when early life was evolving here.”