Is there life on Mars? Everyone from David Bowie to Kim Stanley Robinson has asked the question, and scientists have invariably answered in the negative.
Now, however, a depression on the surface of the Red Planet could harbour signs that alien life does exist on Mars.
Recently, RDMag published a report detailing the discovery of the depression. The depression, which is located near the rim of the Hellas basin, seems to have all the requirements that could foster microbial life.
According to Joseph Levy, a research associate from the University of Texas and lead author of the study, the location is warm and chemical-rich enough to have been able to produce primitive forms of life.
"We were drawn to this site because it looked like it could host some of the key ingredients for habitability - water, heat and nutrients," explained Levy in a statement as reported by The Independent.
The team initially encountered the odd depression in 2009. However, it was not until earlier this year when scientists were able to analyse the location using stereoscopic images, Nature World News reported.
The study concluded that the two funnel structures were formed in different ways. The Galaxias Fossae depression seems to be a product of an impact, while the Hellas depression showed several indications of volcanism.
Levy and his fellow researchers suggest that such depressions on Mars should be considered as prime locations for the search for life on the Red Planet. The Hellas formation is of particular interest due to its possible volcanic origins and the potential for life-fostering properties.
According to Inquisitr: The search for life on Mars might have received a boost or perhaps even a confirmation (or denial) of its existence last month had the Rocosmos and European Space Agency's lander been able to continue its mission on the planet's surface. Called Schiaparelli, the lander was an astrobiology project specifically designed to search for life on Mars.
As the Inquisitr reported, Schiaparelli exploded on impact with the surface on October 19, a victim of its parachute deploying too early.