How did life come to earth? Was it in a meteorite? Or did it arise from a number of unique coincidences? One theory is that lightning could be responsible for life. This would be the source of a basic element at the beginning of life: phosphorus.
Phosphorus in minerals
There is a mineral called writersita, known to be highly reactive. It would have the quality to produce the fragile and necessary phosphorus to form organic molecules. There is a step from there to life. Until now, scientists had assumed that the predominant source of scribblerite in the early stages of our planet was meteorites.
A research team led by Benjamin Hess (Yale) disagrees. He recounts it in his research published in Nature. It’s titled Lightning strikes are a major contributor to prebiotic phosphorus reduction on early Earth.
In their research they used spectroscopic techniques. H.found writersite as part of the vitreous minerals formed by lightning strikes on certain clay-rich soils. They then calculated the amount of clerk site that could cause an electric shock. It is believed that lightning could have formed between 10 and 1,000 kilograms of phosphides per year. They would also produce between 100 and 100,000 kilograms of phosphites and hypophosphites, bioavailable forms of phosphorus. “Enough to possibly feed the first life forms,” argue the authors.
Rays of life
Lightning could have been an important source of prebiotic reactive phosphorus. This focused on the land masses of the tropical regions. They speculate that the rays could provide a continuous source of prebiotic reactive phosphorus. This, apart from the flow of meteorites on other earth-like planets.
Their used simulations of early Earth climate models. It is known that meteorite impacts decreased after the moon formed 4.5 billion years ago. But the number of rays and the phosphorus provided them in the form of scribblerite surpassed the effects of meteorites about 3.5 billion years ago. A date that coincides with the origin of this wonderful mystery that continues to be life on earth. Yes, Lightning could be responsible for life. It is not surprising that different cultures associate this magical phenomenon with numerous deities. And vital.