The researchers propose to look for traces of ancient civilizations in their geological traces.
Professor, University of Rochester Adam Frank and Director of the Institute for space studies NASA’s Goddard Gavin Schmidt suggested “the silurians” hypothesis, according to which technologically advanced civilization could leave geological traces of their stay on the planet, reports zn.ua with reference to the website of the University.
The hypothesis got its name in honor of silurians — intelligent reptiles from the British sci-Fi series “Doctor Who”, which the plot was first developed beings on Earth.
“Gavin found no traces of other industrialized civilizations,” said Frank. But they with a colleague wondered what traces could leave another technologically advanced civilization on Earth.
Today, our planet has entered a new era, which many researchers call the “anthropocene” – human activity significantly affects the planet, changing the lithosphere, the atmosphere and the global ocean. It is noted that the main geological imprint, characteristic of the era of the anthropocene, is the use of fossil fuels.
In addition, markers that can detect traces of the existence of modern humanity is global warming, soil erosion caused by agriculture, pollution of the environment with plastic waste and the use of nuclear weapons.
“As industrial civilization, we report changes in isotopic abundance, because we burn carbon. But the burning of fossil fuels can actually destroy us as a civilization. Some prints could leave a like or other types of industrial activities long-dead civilization for tens of millions of years?”, – said Frank.
The researchers drew attention to a paradox: if a civilization was advanced enough to ensure that its activities have caused less harm to the planet, it would have left less geological markers by which it can be detected.
“We know that ancient Mars and, perhaps, the ancient Venus was more habitable than it is now. And maybe someday we will find geological evidence of life on them too. This will help us to understand what we’re looking for,” said Schmidt.