Until recently, scientists believed that the first forms of life on Earth appeared about 3.95 billion years ago. However, Japanese scientists studying rocks in Canada say they have found the as yet oldest traces of life on Earth, and that they go even further back than that. This latest discovery of single-cell life was uncovered in rock structures in Canada. It occurred in an extremely remote area inhabited, for years now, only by polar bears. The set of rocks analyzed is located in northern Labrador, in an area collectively known as the Saglek block.
Oldest Traces of Life even Earlier than 3.8 Billion Years
The team says that their discovery proves that there might have been life on our planet even more than 4.95 million years ago. This points to life dating back to at least 1 million years earlier than previously believed. Scientists currently believe that these rocks in Canada contain the oldest traces of life on our planet because life was finally complex enough to leave behind fossils.
Doctor Matthew Dodd of the University College in London says that he agrees with the Japanese scientists, but others maintain that they are not so sure about the dates.
Dodd adds that for “most people to be convinced, we’ll need to see some other elements.”
The Japanese scientists reportedly attracted criticism towards their research because they have not broken down the rock sample into its core components. Therefore, some researchers are saying it is like tearing apart a puzzle. You must consider each part separately. Because the study team did not do so, some are questioning the team’s scientific theory.
Still, if the Japanese team is correct, then life on our planet may have begun about 4.95 million years ago. It is an important difference as scientists believe that asteroids were still hitting the Earth at that time. Researchers had previously thought that no complex life could exist on our planet while it was still being hit by flaming hot balls of fire.