Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

You may see them as irritating garden pests, but earthworms are actually vital for the survival of any ecosystem.

Now, scientists have discovered that worms can reproduce in ‘Martian soil' for the first time. The findings suggest that worms could reproduce on Mars , in what is a major step towards colonisation of the red planet.

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Researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands carried out an experiment that simulated life on Mars , and showed that two young earthworms were born in simulated Martian soil.

The breakthrough follows a study by the same team last year in which various vegetables were harvested from the same soil. Dr Wieger Wamelink, lead author of the study, found the worms in a Mars soil simulant that he obtained from Nasa. The surface of Mars is covered by sand and dust - formed by the erosion of iron-rich igneous rocks similar to basalt. Known as ‘Regolith' this material can be coarse, fine or powdery.

Nasa's soil simulant originates from a volcano on Hawaii and Dr Wamelink has been growing Regolith in it to which worms have been added - along with pig slurry that mimics human waste.

Dr Wamelink said: 'The worms were from my own garden!'

But he was stunned when he discovered a couple of new arrivals - that he hadn't completely expected.

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The Mars soil even outperformed silver sand - a fine white sand used by gardeners on Earth.

Dr Wamelink said: 'The positive effect of adding manure was not unexpected but we were surprised it makes Mars soil simulant outperform Earth silver sand.'

#1 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2017-11-28 01:20 AM | Reply

That's wonderful news just in case I have to leave planet earth I can grow crops on Mars.

#2 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-11-28 01:27 AM | Reply

GET YOUR ASS TO MARS!

Remember when W. announced we were going to Mars?
Too bad we're not there already, it would be a great place for Trump to build a hotel.

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-28 01:29 AM | Reply

You may see them as irritating garden pests

Is there anyone on the planet who views earthworms as a garden pest?

#4 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-11-28 07:24 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#3 | POSTED BY SNOOFY AT 2017-11-28 01:29 AM | FLAG:

There's a benefit. All that horribly gaudy gold is actually useful in space.

#5 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-11-28 08:18 AM | Reply

what do you call an earthworm that you put onto Mars?

#6 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2017-11-28 04:00 PM | Reply

"what do you call an earthworm that you put onto Mars?" - #6 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2017-11-28 04:00 PM

An expatriate.

#7 | Posted by Hans at 2017-11-28 04:09 PM | Reply

You may see them as irritating garden pests
Is there anyone on the planet who views earthworms as a garden pest?
#4 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-11-28 07:24 AM

Nobody does.

Just keeping with the theme that Mars has no life. Re-enforcement is typically to introduce reality against their manufactured one, allowing the "reveal" to seem that much more credibly incredible.

#8 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2017-11-28 04:10 PM | Reply

Now if Mars had an atmosphere and pressure so the worms could breathe.

#9 | Posted by boaz at 2017-11-29 09:52 AM | Reply

Now if Mars had an atmosphere and pressure so the worms could breathe.

Posted by boaz at 2017-11-29 09:52 AM | Reply

Yes it does.

#10 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-11-29 09:54 AM | Reply

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