June 01, 2006
by: jovial_cynic

I stumbled onto a Popular Science article today that mentioned the mysterious blood-red rain that fell in India back in 2001. There were ideas about what caused the red rain - things like desert dust, spores, algae, etc. However, it looks like whatever caused the rain to come down red is a bit more mysterious.

Indian researcher Godfrey Louis has been studying the samples for 5 years now, and has turned up some startling findings.

Specifically, Louis has isolated strange, thick-walled, red-tinted cell-like structures about 10 microns in size. Stranger still, dozens of his experiments suggest that the particles may lack DNA yet still reproduce plentifully, even in water superheated to nearly 600¢ªF. (The known upper limit for life in water is about 250¢ªF.) So how to explain them? Louis speculates that the particles could be extraterrestrial bacteria adapted to the harsh conditions of space and that the microbes hitched a ride on a comet or meteorite that later broke apart in the upper atmosphere and mixed with rain clouds above India.


Luke said:
Wierd...Maybe the red rain is trumped up? Or maybe it's an unknown virus sent to wipe out the Hindis! Whatever it is, it's wierd. I'm glad I live in America where the rain is clear.
June 01, 2006

Wonder said:
I wonder if the little red buggers are cousins to the dinoflagellates that cause red tide?
June 01, 2006

jovial_cynic said:
Well, dinoflagellates have identifable DNA, whereas these critters apparently do not. If by "cousins" you mean that they might have some ancient symbiotic/parasitic relationship, I suppose that would maintain the "otherworldly" hypothesis as well as push the panspermia theory.
June 01, 2006

wonder said:
Yeah, I commented before I read the article. Silly me.
June 08, 2006

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