According to a new theory, embryos of octopuses arrived on Earth on a comet many years ago, thus, suggesting these water living animals not only look weird but are also extraterrestrial.
This rather amazing theory is part of a study by a team of 33 international scientists. Their work is available in the journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology.
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The research leaned on the genes of octopuses and other similar species. According to it, these species emerged on earth through a series of mass-extinction events that happened in the distant past.
The paper points out that the octopuses evolved from a nautiloid that inhabited the Earth about 500 million years.
“It is our view that the new genes are likely new extraterrestrial imports to Earth – most plausibly as an already coherent group of functioning genes within (say) cryopreserved and matrix protected fertilized octopus egg,” the team wrote.
“It takes little imagination to consider that the pre-Cambrian mass extinction event(s) was correlated with the impact of a giant life-bearing comet (or comets), and the subsequent seeding of Earth with new cosmic-derived cellular organisms and viral genes.”
The team explains how octopuses own a complex nervous system. They can also shape-shift their body and have an ability to disguise themselves within the surrounding. These are features that the nautiloid never had.
Moreover, an octopus, despite its steady DNA, can also ‘play’ with their RNA to adjust to almost every surrounding.
Scientists say all these traits “seem to be borrowed from a far distant ‘future’ in terms of terrestrial evolution.”
The theory that life on Earth originates from outer space goes by the name panspermia. In fact, this particular study is only a part of this peculiar theory.
Virologist Karin Moelling of the Max Planck Institute Molecular Genetics in Berlin regarded the study as “useful,”. Anyway, he also said that the idea of life coming from space is likely impossible.
The authors of the research admit that their theory is opposite to the “prevailing dominant paradigm“.
However, they also point out that the theory doesn’t necessary shut out evolution. According to them, there are also species that evolved here on Earth too, unlike the ones that came from space.