Scientists have concluded that humans relocating to Mars would mean significant changes for our species, as in we’ll become a whole new one.
Colonising Mars is one of the biggest priorities for major organisations like NASA and SpaceX; they want our species to survive before the imminent Trumpocalypse.
Mars is the best bet for life outside earth, but what will happen to us once we get there? Well, undoubtedly the major environmental differences will alter our chemistry significantly.
US evolutionary biologist Dr. Scott Solomon wrote an entire paper on the subject, and concluded that if the human race moved to Mars they would quickly become very different to their forbearers back home on Earth.
“Adjusting to the weaker gravity, intense radiation, and a total lack of microbial life would cause generations of Martian colonists to undergo some of the most dramatic evolutionary changes in the human lineage since we started walking upright and developed our oversized brains,” he writes.
It’s the founder’s effect, which in layman’s terms is a loss of genetic variation when a new population is established from an initially smaller one. So what will happen to our bodies exactly?
Our bones will start changing, first of all; the low gravity will significantly alter bone mass, making bones very brittle for the first few generations. But eventually, adaptation will take effect and bones will become much thicker, giving us a ‘big boned’ appearance.
Skin-wise, due to the intense radiation caused by the lack of an atmosphere, Melanin will increase in our skin causing Martian/humans to have much darker skin than earthlings.
Alternatively, another process could take effect. Carotenoids which make carrots orange are used by many organisms for protection against solar radiation. The possibilities are endless, but the odds on martians developing a tan is pretty likely.
With these facts in mind, it’s reasonable to assume that aiming for the human race’s survival might just wipe us out entirely. As Solomon states, “the message is clear: Settling Mars could eventually lead to the evolution of an entirely new human species.”
So there you have it – life on Mars is going to look VERY different to life on Earth…
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.