Martian Fossils or Chemical Reactions?
With the Perseverance Mars rover, NASA is searching for something incredible: microscopic fossils. The rover is currently trawling through the sediment of the Jezero Crater, which scientists believe may have once been a river delta. However, new research warns that identifying these fossils may be set back by false positives.
The shapes of fossils are not unique to fossils alone; there are non biotic processes that can create similar looking structures. These pseudo-fossils, or "biomorphs," can resemble impressions left behind by ancient creatures, like algae or bacteria. If the rover does find anything interesting, the geologists at NASA will have their work cut out for them making sure they're really organic fossils!
You can learn more about biomorphs here and if you're interested in some real microscopic fossils, check out our collection of stromatolites!