Did Life Start in a Pond, Not Oceans?
Life may have gotten its start inland, inside ponds of volcanic condensate, not in the oceans. Modern life is more chemically compatible with conditions in venting geothermal fields, such as Yellowstone National Park, than in the ocean, even a primitive ocean, new analysis shows. The finding challenges a widely accepted theory that modern life began in a marine environment.
The study, led by biophysicist Armen Mulkidjanian with Osnabruck University in Germany, suggests life evolved inside cooled inland ponds formed from condensation from volcanic activity deep inside the Earth. Life later would have spread into the oceans. Stoking scientists’ interest in the chemical origins of life is a long-standing puzzle about why it has such high amounts of potassium, relative to the amounts of sodium.