You have to admire NASA’s persistence. After myriad flybys, landers, rovers and probes; crashes, misses, malfunctions, and missteps, we’re still searching for life on Mars. First there was the Mars rover that drove around taking candids of the (barren) surface. Now there’s the $420 million lander Phoenix, which touched down on the surface of Big Red late last month after a 296-day journey. Its mission: To search for water.
If science fiction has taught us anything, it’s that whatever lifeform comes at us from that planet, it’s bound to be downright nasty. In fact, according to the movies, there are only two possible outcomes for the discovery of life on Mars.
Scenario A: Martians as Demons
As Seen in: John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars, Doom
The general idea here is that we’ll set up a colony on Mars, then
invariably watch as people start mysteriously dying. Why? Because
there’s some really funky stuff going on sub-surface — which we would
have known about if the rover weren’t just snapping Polaroids of
rocks. Violence ensues and then they’re pissed off enough to
want to come after us.
Outcome: We lose
Scenario B: Martians as Invaders
We all know the drill. A mysterious signal heralds our own apocalypse as a Martian fleet descends upon our planet. Why do they want to kill us? They just do. But in the case of Frankenstein, their motivations are much more erotic: Atomic war has killed all the women on their planet, so they come to Earth to abscond with ours for sexy-time. Either way, their technology is far superior to our own, so we pretty much have to take it. That, or find their impossibly simple weakness (ahem, M. Night Shyamalan, I’m looking at you: Water!?)
Outcome: Unless Martians are allergic to water — and judging from Phoenix’s mission we’re guessing not — We lose.Read More