Octopus-like creatures inhabit Jupiter’s moon, claims space scientist
Professor Monica Grady, a British scientist, recently came out in favor of extraterrestrial life on Europa. Europa, the solar system’s sixth largest moon, may offer optimal conditions for life under its miles of ice. The moon is one of Jupiter’s 79.
Alien hunting is a hopeful activity and one of the reasons why the public generally supports our space initiatives. Looking for other life is a strong incentive to be venturing out into space, despite having found none so far. In a recent speech, Professor Monica Grady, a professor of planetary and space science at Liverpool Hope University, gave all cosmic explorers a huge dose of such hope. She is convinced that there is life on Jupiter’s moon Europa, despite the lack of evidence.
This life could be larger than mere bacteria, Grady said, perhaps with intelligence levels similar to an octopus, and is likely residing in the cold waters under the moon’s sheets of ice. Grady believes that undiscovered life exists somewhere in our galaxy.
She also supposes that the deeper caves and cavernous spaces of Mars could harbor some subterranean creatures, likely bacteria, there to escape the solar radiation. They could be obtaining water from the buried ice. “When it comes to the prospects of life beyond Earth, it’s almost a racing certainty that there’s life beneath the ice on Europa,” she said in an address.
She believes that these life forms on Europa, 390 million miles from Earth, may be more complex than Martian bacteria, with “the intelligence of an octopus.”
Where would the organisms live on Jupiter’s moon? Somewhere behind the incredibly thick layer of ice, which can reach depths of 15 miles in some places. It’s possible there is liquid water beneath all that ice, keeping whatever lives inside protected against radiation and the impact of asteroids and similar smashing bodies.
The possibility of hydrothermal vents on Europa’s ocean floor increases the likelihood of life on the planet. Such vents are the cradles of life on Earth.
Grady thinks that our solar system doesn’t have to be particularly special and that statistically speaking, as we explore other stars and galaxies, we should be able to find conditions for life. “I think it’s highly likely there will be life elsewhere—and I think it’s highly likely they’ll be made of the same elements,” stated the professor.
Grady did not want to guess whether we would contact extraterrestrials any time soon, citing the fact that the distance between us and likely aliens might be gigantic.
On the other hand, she added, if you look at a grain of sand, you “can see that most of it is made up of silicates, but it’s also got little patches of carbon in it—and that carbon is extra-terrestrial, because it also contains nitrogen and hydrogen, which is not a terrestrial signature.”
According to Grady, this tiny sample shows that it was hit by meteorites, asteroids, and interstellar dust, and “it’s giving us an idea of how complex the record of extraterrestrial material really is.”
Europa has certainly been discussed in previous discussions about alien life. According to NASA, scientists refer to Europa as a “ocean world” since decades of observations predict an ocean underneath its ice sheets.
In 2019, water vapor was confirmed there by NASA for the first time. While it might just have the right conditions for life, does this moon have little octopus E.T.s swimming about? Future research will tell.