Study Suggests Cephalopod Eggs Traveled to Earth on a Comet
Octopuses are really, really weird. Masters of disguise, they camouflage the skin on their flailing, eight-armed bodies and dive hundreds of feet below the surface of the sea. The intelligent creatures have even been known to predict the odd sports result.
Now, a group of 33 scientists from respected institutions around the world have suggested these bizarre creatures descend from organic alien material. Their research was published in the journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, ties the “remarkable” rise of octopuses and their cephalopod cousins to the theory of panspermia.
Panspermia [life from other planets “seeded” the earth] is a hotly-debated concept. Various versions suggest microbes, viruses, and even tiny life forms like the tardigrade [similar to nematodes] might travel dormant from space rock to space rock via collisions, eventually making their way to new planets. On a habitable planet like our own, they might wake up and thrive.
In the case of octopuses, the authors think cryopreserved eggs could have hitched a ride to Earth on icy bolides [meteors.] “Indeed,” they wrote, “This principle applies to the sudden appearance in the fossil record of pretty well all major life forms.” Tiny multicellular critters in the form of “eggs, embryos and seeds” might have sprung to life on Earth after a voyage through space.
It's a fun idea, but the paper is one of conjecture, not original research. It is a literature review largely referencing the authors’ own works. In fact, even they acknowledge the work might come off as “fanciful.”
Octopuses are definitely weird. But for now, they're very much terrestrial.
(Hignett, “Are Octopuses From Outer Space? Study Suggests Cephalopod Eggs Traveled to Earth on a Comet,” Newsweek Online, 5/17/18).
[TBC: “Panspermia” is more than a hotly debated concept. It is a concept entirely without proof, as the writer implies. Nevertheless, it is an idea that is held by a number of Evolutionary scientists who search for some way to explain how non-life became “life.” Not finding the answer on the earth leads them to find a source of what is called “prebiotic” substances. That is, life originated on other planets (again, with no evidence whatsoever) and somehow hitched a ride on meteorites or comets to “seed” life on the earth. This shot in the dark has an attraction to those who believe that somehow molecules from non living substances (never mind the question of how they originated), eventually result in man through evolution. This “concept” is seen in movies such as Promethius which depicts an alien scattering his biological material in a river on a planet possessing no life. It surfaces in comments from Richard Dawkins who tentatively speculates the possibility of life coming from elsewhere in the universe as he stated in Ben Stein’s Expelled movie. Dawkins later asserted that he was joking, showing his awareness of the absolute lack of evidence.]