SOME scientists think colonising Mars could be our best chance of ensuring the human species survives.
Contudo, life on the planet would come with a lot of challenges and it’s likely our Mars based ancestors would look very different to how we look today.
Nasa and Elon Musk have their sights set on sending humans to the Red Planet within the next few decades.
While they work on the logistics, other researchers are wondering what the new environment would do to the human body.
It’s possible Mars colonists could eventually evolve into a new type of human.
Dr. Scott Solomon, an evolutionary biologist at Rice University in Houston, thinks humans living on Mars could develop orange skin.
He discusses the idea in his 2016 livro Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution.
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Mars has an atmosphere that’s much thinner than the one here on Earth and there’s no magnetic field protection.
That means humans would need to find a way to survive the high levels of cancer-causing radiation.
One way of doing this is ingesting a large amount of food that contains carotenoids.
These pigments are found in things like carrots and pumpkins and it’s what makes them orange.
Carotenoids in our skin and bloodstream could help to protect us from the harmful impact of radiation.
Solomon thinks humans with high levels of carotenoids would be more likely to live long enough to reproduce.
On Earth, melanin is the natural skin pigment that helps to protect us from UV rays but it might not be enough to protect us on Mars.
Microbes on Earth rely on carotenoids to protect themselves from dangerous UV light and researchers are already looking for signs of the pigment on Mars.
Evidence of it could indicate that the planet can support life.
De acordo com Business Insider, the harsh conditions on Mars could shrink the human skeleton and muscles.
Astronauts staying on the International Space Station have experienced weakened bones.
If these effects can happen to astronauts in a short space of time, scientists think living full time in space could drastically change how we’re built.
Shrinking skulls could result in neurological conditions.
Weak bones and muscles could have other health complications.
Mars is further from the Sun than our planet and a regular day can look like an overcast day on Earth.
This darker environment could change human eyes over time.
Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, a planetary scientist, previously explained to NBC News: “Our eyes are accustomed to a certain amount of light on Earth.
“If there has to be some adaptation to these new ambient conditions, then either our optical system and brain will have to develop new ways of collecting more light on the retina, or we will develop new retinas or bigger eyes.”
A change in eye size would also impact the shape of a human’s skull.
Em outras notícias, Nasa has upgraded its asteroid hazard software with some key changes that should help it better detect potentially dangerous space rocks.
Nasa has revealed stunning footage of a solar flare in action.
E, the US space agency is planning for a ‘golden asteroid’ probing mission to launch this summer.