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Humans might never have existed if it wasn't for falling meteorites

A new study suggests that the phosphorus needed to kickstart organic life came to this planet on meteorites.

Saving humanity: maybe we've been doing it all wrong...
Saving humanity: maybe we've been doing it all wrong...
Image: IMDb

HUMAN LIFE MIGHT never have existed if it were not for elements carried to this planet by meteorites falling from space, it has been suggested.

A major new study has claimed that phosphorus, a key element in the instigation of life, was carried to Earth by meteorites which regularly pounded the planet between two and four-and-a-half billion years ago.

Scientists from the University of South Florida examined samples drawn from earth in the United States, Australia and Zimbabwe.

They believe this phosphorus dissolved in water with other elements native to Earth, releasing phosphite to form a stew which gave rise to prebiotic molecules – which eventually became the building blocks for all life.

As Science Daily reports, the theory would also explain why new life forms are not observed today – because the particular elements needed to instigate new existence are not arriving on Earth.

“Meteorite phosphorus may have been a fuel that provided the energy, and phosphorus, necessary for the onset of life,” said USF geology professor Matthew Pasek, who specialises in the chemical composition of outer space and how that may have influenced the origin of life.

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“If this meteoritic phosphorus is added to simple organic compounds, it can generate phosphorus biomolecules identical to those seen in life today,” he said.

Read: 58 years after dying, Albert Einstein is still discovering planets (sort of)

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Gavan Reilly

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