in it New study Scientists show how the vast number of lightnings that struck Earth billions of years ago may have given rise to life.
The cornerstone of life
According to the researchers, lightning played a role in how much a certain type of phosphorous was formed. When phosphorous reacts with water, it can provide conditions for life.
Traces of life seen 3.5 billion years ago are preserved in sediments formed in shallow water. So it is known that there was water on Earth at that time, says Henrik Drake, who researches geobiology at Linnaeus University.
Where did phosphorous come from?
During this time, phosphorous was encapsulated in the bedrock, but in a solid form that did not react with water.
Therefore, researchers began to look at reduced phosphorous in the form of a water-soluble mineral called shreeperset. It is possible that phosphorous metal appeared on Earth as a result of meteorite crashes, but it turns out that the number of meteorites decreased during this time.
On the other hand, the amount of lightning was a lot. So researchers began to look at so-called fulgurites, which form when lightning strikes Earth with tremendous force. Fulgurite contains shreeperset and thus could explain how the reduced phosphorous was generated in large quantities.
Billions of flashes year after year
During this time, Earth is struck by about three billion lightning strikes every year. It can be compared to half a million thunderbolts that struck the Earth’s surface during a year today.
– At a certain time, lightning becomes a player larger than meteors, according to the study. Then the question is, was it when life on Earth began or not, says Henrik Drake.
Play the clip to see photos of the Fulgurians that may be the reason for the existence of life on Earth today.