A new study report published in the journal BioScience has suggested that growing space explorations could result in alien organisms invading earth. In the paper, researchers also noted that earthly organisms will also reach other space bodies, thus contaminating those planets.
Alien organisms could harm native species
Researchers, in their study report, suggested that the arrival of alien organisms could harm native species. Even though the risk of alien invasion is pretty low, increasing space explorations could result in a potential invasion of outer space organisms on earth, and vice versa.
"The search of life beyond our world is an exciting endeavor that could yield an enormous discovery in the not-too-distant future. However, in the face of increasing space missions (including those intended to return samples to Earth), it is crucial to reduce the risks of biological contamination in both directions," said Anthony Ricciardi, a professor of invasion biology at McGill University in Montreal, the lead author of the study told Live Science.
Little green men or microorganisms
In most Hollywood movies, alien life forms are being portrayed as little green men invading planet earth. However, Ricciardi believes that the most probable alien life forms which humans encounter could be microbial.
"We can only speculate on what kinds of organisms might be encountered if astrobiologists were to find life. The most plausible life-forms would be microbial and probably resemble bacteria," added Ricciardi.
The research team also made it clear that the possibilities of interplanetary contamination are very low, especially considering the harsh conditions in outer space. However, there is a slight chance that certain microbes capable of surviving these conditions could reach earth after space trips, and finally contaminate native species.