Could Life on Earth Have Come From Space?

People who search for aliens on Earth are likely thinking of little green men and flying saucers in the sky, but what if they should be looking at tentacles in the sea? A recent paper claims that octopuses and other cephalopods have their origins on a different planet, brought here as eggs on some asteroid in our planet’s distant past.
It’s a pretty far-fetched idea, and almost certainly not true, but the idea of life on Earth originating from somewhere else is not as completely ridiculous as it might seem. The idea is called ‘panspermia,’ and while there’s not a whole lot of evidence supporting it, it’s also not impossible.
Panspermia, broadly defined, is the idea that living organisms or genetic material can travel between planets in our solar system, and even between our solar system and nearby stars.
Some life forms—like tardigrades and certain species of bacteria and fungus—can survive for extended periods in the vacuum of space. An experiment on the ISS found that a number of microbes survived just fine in space for nearly two years, and it’s almost guaranteed that some species can survive for longer. In fact, microorganisms surviving in space is such a problem for NASA that the agency has a ‘Planetary Protection Officer’ devoted to making sure it doesn’t happen by accident.
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