New York: An earthquake normally brings destruction to the area it takes place in, but an earthquake in Mars could actually provide a life support system in the form of hydrogen!
Yes, through a study, scientists have said that rocks formed by the grinding together of other rocks during earthquakes are rich in trapped hydrogen and similar seismic activity on Mars may produce enough hydrogen to support life.
"Mars is not very seismically active, but our work shows that 'Marsquakes' could produce enough hydrogen to support small populations of microorganisms, at least for short periods of time," said first author of the study Sean McMahon from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, US.
"NASA has plans to measure seismic activity on Mars during its 2018 InSight mission, and our data will make those measurements all the more interesting," study co-author John Parnell from University of Aberdeen in Scotland said.
The researchers studied rock formations around active fault lines in the Outer Hebrides, off the coast of Scotland.
While humans and other animals get their energy mainly from the reaction between oxygen and sugar, bacteria use a wide array of alternative reactions to obtain energy.
The oxidation of hydrogen gas, for example, generates enough energy for bacteria deep in the Earth's subsurface.
The study was published in the journal Astrobiology.
(With IANS inputs)