[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 30, 1967

Possible Life on Mars And Martian Lives on Earth

Author Affiliations

Granada Hills, Calif

JAMA. 1967;199(5):344. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120050086030

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


To the Editor:—  Your editorial on polluting the universe (197:1096. 1966) expresses appropriate concern over the possibility that terrestrial organisms may interfere with experiments to detect life on other planets, particularly Mars. However, it is unlikely that terrestrial organisms could survive (except in a dormant state) and multiply to overwhelm indigenous life on Mars, where anaerobic conditions, intense solar radiations, extreme dryness, and subzero temperatures prevail.On the other hand, Martian life, if it exists, must be sufficiently hardy to withstand the driest and coldest conditions on our own planet. There is no guarantee that such life would not find moderate climates even more hospitable. When planning expeditions into space, perhaps we should consider that our own planet could be invaded—not by little green men or bug-eyed monsters, but by biochemically complex, primitive forms of life possessing a superior ability to survive under some conditions existing on the Earth.