Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Martian bacteria?
Name: clement
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993

Is it possible for there to be life of anaerobic bacteria in the ice caps of the planet Mars?

As far as I know, there is no evidence against such life on Mars, so the short answer is: yes.


Sure -- except that it would be pretty limited in its lifestyle - - no cable TV for this bug. Because the temperatures on Mars can reach to below -100 C at the poles, life would be extremely difficult, and the lack of nutrients anywhere except from inorganic chemical constituents in the soil or in the ice around the bacterial colonies would keep the menu fairly short. Oh, and do not rule out aerobes -- Mars has an atmosphere, though admittedly not much of one, and there are such organisms as microaerophiles and also microorganisms known as facultative anaerobes, which can grow in the presence of oxygen but which do not need it to survive.


Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory