What is life? The dictionary defines it as “the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.” That is a bit of a mouthful, wouldn’t you say? While I suppose that is the mechanical definition of life, there is much more to the word. It has many layers, like puff pastry.
Recently, “life” has been making headlines. Every day it seems there is a new report about possible life on Mars. Yesterday, there was talk of watery oases beneath the red planet’s surface. Life is very flexible – seemingly unclassifiable at times – as it comes in all shapes and sizes, thriving in the tiniest nooks and the tightest crannies.
Yellowstone is overflowing with life – from its microbial communities to herds of bison – and for many scientists, Mars and Yellowstone may have a lot of common. Yellowstone’s ancient hot springs, for example, is a microbe metropolis and sheds light on how life could be possible on Mars. To understand Mars, it is wise to look at Yellowstone. Additionally, these microbe cities further our understanding on how life on Earth came to be.
Earth is still a mysterious place – Yellowstone, for instance. It is puff pastry, having many layers. Perhaps we should put on spacesuits and explore the park, spend some time at a microbial hostel and talk to locals.
Either way, Yellowstone Safari Co. has you covered. We are astronauts. Let us explore.