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The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (9/02)

Mystery of India's "Red Rain" of 2001 Points to Extraterrestrial Origin

Red_Rectangle New evidence has been discovered that reinforces the panspermia thoery that the red rain which fell in India in 2001, contained cells unlike any found on Earth.  Panspermia is the idea championed by physicist Fred Hoyle that life exists throughout the universe in comets, asteroids and interstellar dust clouds and that life of Earth was seeded from one or more of these sources.

In 1903, in the German journal Umschau, Svante Arrhenius removed the meteors from the equation. Instead, he wrote, individual spores wafted throughout space, colonizing any hospitable planet they lit on. Arrhenius named the theory panspermia.

A growing body of evidence suggests that it might be Hoyle and Arrhenius might have been correct.

For example, various insects such as  have been shown to survive for months or even years in the harsh conditions of space. the Allen Hills Mars meteorite that some scientists believe holds evidence of life on Mars, is that its interior never rose above 50 degrees centigrade, despite being blasted from the Martian surface by an meteor impact and surviving a fiery a descent through Earth's opaque atmosphere.

"Spores," says Gerda Horneck, of DLR German Aerospace Center in Köln, "can withstand a variety of different hostile conditions: heat, radiation, desiccation, chemical substances, such as alcohol, acetone and others. They have an extremely long shelf life. This is because the sensitive material, the DNA, is especially packed and protected in the spores

In 2001, the inhabitants of Kerala in the sounthern India observed red rain falling during a two month period. One, Godfrey Louis, a physicist at nearby Cochin University of Science and Technology, intrigued by this phenomena, collected numerous samples of red rain to find out what was causing the contamination, perhaps sand or dust from some distant desert.

Examining the red rain under a microscopehe found that the rain water was filled with red cells that look remarkably like conventional bugs on Earth. What was strange was that Louis found no evidence of DNA in these cells which would rule out most kinds of known biological cells (red blood cells are one possibility but ought to be destroyed quickly by rain water).

Louis published his results in the peer-reviewed journal Astrophysics and Space in 2006, along with the tentative suggestion that the cells could be extraterrestrial, perhaps from a comet that had disintegrated in the upper atmosphere and then seeded clouds as the cells floated down to Earth as well as reports in the region of a sonic boom-type noise, which could have been caused by the entry of an object in the upper atmosphere.

Since his initial discovery, Louis has intensified his study the cells with an international team including Chandra Wickramasinghe from the University of Cardiff in the UK and one of the leading proponents of the panspermia theory, which he developed in the latter half of the 20th century with the Fred Hoyle.

The team's new research show that the cells reproduce at a temperature of 121 degrees C. "Under these conditions daughter cells appear within the original mother cells and the number of cells in the samples increases with length of exposure to 121 degrees C," they report. By contrast, the cells are inert at room temperature. The spores of some extremophiles can survive these kinds of temperatures and then reproduce at lower temperatures but nothing discovered to date on Earth behaves like this at these temperatures -an extraordinary claim that will need to be independently verified before it will be more broadly accepted.

Wickramasinghe's team say they've examined the way these fluoresce when bombarded with light and say it is remarkably similar to various unexplained emission spectra seen in various parts of the galaxy. One such place is the Red Rectangle (image above), a cloud of dust and gas around a young star in the Monocerous constellation.

Casey Kazan 


Ref: Growth And Replication Of Red Rain Cells At 121oC And Their Red Fluorescence


"For example, various insects such as have been shown to survive for months or even years in the harsh conditions of space"

Interesting article though

Does nobody proofread these articles!?!?!?!

Does nobody proofread these articles!?!?!?!

Which insects can survive for months in space?

"...the inhabitants of Kerala in the sounthern India..."

"Examining the red rain under a microscopehe found that..."

"Louis has intensified his study the cells with an international team..."

I don't think anyone proof reads these articles, there are always mistakes like these- makes for frustrating reading. Sort it out, dailygalaxy, content is excellent but quality is poor.

yah honestly..the typos are getting a little ridiculous lately. It makes me not want to read your articles

Not to mention that an independent Lab found that the cells did in fact contain DNA, and that the cells looked like red algae. Apparently the lab that did the initial DNA testing wasn't trained to properly use the equipment, nor were they biologists. It was all in the Horizon episode 'We are the aliens'.

Nice try though. Funny how the daily galaxy left this critical info out.

typographical errors = carelessness = doing this blog for the greed of it ( aka money from ads over there >>>> )


I really liked reading your articles, until the typos became too much of a distraction. How are you an editor when you don't proof read before posting. Hire someone to do it, hell I'm unemployed, I'll do it. Either way please do something about this, I would really love to enjoy reading your articles again.

There is a discussion of this in Wikipedia. The title is "Red rain in Kerala." If you paste this title in the Wikipedia search box it will take you to the article.

One of the chief reasons why we suspect this had nothing to do with comets or meteors is that the red rains continued over months.

They seem to be caused by algae that grow very commonly in the area.

I'm sorry, but there comes a point where the amount of errors override the value of the paper, and it's just not worth reading.

I have been reading and putting up with the typos for so long now that I've watched DG go through an editor already - apparently someone from Conde Nast - who apparently isn't doing his/her job. Or they quit.

I have volunteered for years to edit/proofread your stuff for FREE.

You know where to find me ;-)

The number of typing-errors in this article were astonishingly, jaw-droppingly, sky-high.

I can't believe that any writer who takes pride in his or her craft, and cares and respects the audience, would actually hit the submit button and post an article in a state like that.

This level of error has reached the point where it is now taking away from the enjoyment of this website, not to mention greatly diminishing the seriousness, and legitimacy of this site.

The fact that the author (or editors) of this website will likely not apologize for this shocking amount of errors, as illustrated in this article, really conveys that they have a flippant, couldn't-care-less, attitude towards their audience.

I guess the editors and writers of this site will simply ignore our comments, shrug their shoulders, and keep posting improperly edited articles, as they have been doing.

As a loyal audience member of this site I sure do appreciate that...

That's pretty amazing!

There is something fishy about this article....

Yes the errors cam be annoying. And this probably wasnt proof-read, but I can certainly understand the article. And its very interesting. And it may be just speculation, but the people who say this is just red algae should really post their source if you want to be credible. It doesnt really matter if the red rain was just filled with algae from earth. This article brings to the forefront that cells can exist in space. This is huge. It makes people start thinking outside what we know for certain, which is the most important thing in science. We need to challenge the established theories and concepts. This is how progress is made and we learn more. I have said this again and again, that scientists become to complacent in what is "known" to be true. There are discoveries all the time that "do not fit" the current model of thinking, like for example three are these huge billion plus light-year gaps in the universe that cant possibly be there according to the Big Bang Theory, but guess what? The billion light year gaps in the universe do exist! We have observed it! Im just saying keep an open mind, because it seems almost anything is possible.

I would like to believe the extraterrestial theory, but this seems to me more reasonable.


In November 2001, commissioned by the Government of India's Department of Science & Technology, the Center for Earth Science Studies (CESS) and the Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) issued a joint report which concluded that:[5][10]

The color was found to be due to the presence of a large amount of spores of a lichen-forming alga belonging to the genus Trentepohlia. Field verification showed that the region had plenty of such lichens. Samples of lichen taken from Changanacherry, when cultured in an algal medium, also showed the presence of the same species of algae. Both samples (from rainwater and from trees) produced the same kind of algae, indicating that the spores seen in the rainwater most probably came from local sources.

The site was again visited on August 16, 2001 and it was found that almost all the trees, rocks and even lamp posts in the region were covered with Trentepohlia lichen, and estimated that the extent of lichen in the region is sufficient to generate the quantity of spores seen in the rainwater.[5] Although red or orange, Trentepohlia is a Chlorophyte green alga which can grow abundantly on tree bark or damp soil and rocks, but is also the photosynthetic symbiont or photobiont of many lichens, including some of those abundant on the trees in Changanacherry area.[5] The strong orange colour of the algae, which masks the green of the chlorophyll, is caused by the presence of large quantities of orange carotenoid pigments. A lichen is not a single organism, but the result of a partnership (symbiosis) between a fungus and an alga or cyanobacteria.

[5] Sampath, S.; Abraham, T. K., Sasi Kumar, V., & Mohanan, C.N. (2001). "Colored Rain: A Report on the Phenomenon." (PDF). Cess-Pr-114-2001 (Center for Earth Science Studies and Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute). Retrieved August 30, 2009.
[10] "Red rain was fungus, not meteor". Indian Express. August 6, 2001. Retrieved 2008-05-31.

Nice article. Thanks. And very interesting information in a few of the posts. Again, thanks, Guys.

Wickramsahe tested it positive for DNA, which refutes the extra-terrestial origin. These lichen type spores are locally common on my places in the city like on signs, and red rain has been observed in the past at the same place. It could not happen at the same place twice. As for some minor typos on this article, the Daily Galaxy is the BEST WEBSITE OUT THERE ! QUIT COMPLAINING about some typos, when so many great cosmology blogs are perfect every day.

The Body Snatchers?... maybe.

like on signs, and red rain has been observed in the past at the same place.

this is true?

can any organism survive in space.....?? humans r not having not survival on dis earth in future with dis global warming den how can a animal in space????

is dat all true..

nike air max And how could it be so that literally thousands of eye witnesses “know” that this guy is the perpetrator, then years later DNA proves otherwise.

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