Did life on Earth begin in Saudi Arabia 3.48 billion years ago?

2024-06-11 2024-06-11T14:51:39Z
ندى ماهر عبدربه
ندى ماهر عبدربه
صانعة مُحتوى

Weather of Arabia - In a research achievement and scientific opportunity that specialists described as “unprecedented,” a new study revealed that life on Earth may have originated in Saudi Arabia 3.48 billion years ago, which raises important questions about the beginning of life on our planet.

Discovery details

  • Location: Shibara Island in the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia.
  • Discovery: Living stromatolites (organic sedimentary structure) that represent the first discovery of living shallow marine stromatolites in the Middle East.
  • Journal: The study was published in the Journal of Geology.

Did life on Earth begin in Saudi Arabia?

Specialists define "stromatolites" as layered sedimentary formations resulting from the activity of microorganisms, especially cyanobacteria. These structures are considered among the oldest evidence of life on Earth, dating back more than 3.5 billion years.

The newly published study suggests that these ancient stromatolites played a crucial role in the Great Oxygen Event, which radically changed Earth's atmosphere by introducing oxygen, enabling the evolution of more complex life forms.

According to the study, these stromatolites were recently discovered on Shibara Island off the southwestern tip of the island, where the discovery occurred by chance during a field visit in January 2021 using a local fishing boat.

The authors of the study stated in the scientific journal:

“To our knowledge, the discovery of the Shaybara stromatolites is the first of its kind in the Middle East, representing an unprecedented opportunity to study the biogeography of this unique region. Modern shallow marine stromatolites are sparsely found on the planet, resulting in a lack of suitable analogues for their ancient counterparts.”

See also:

Why is Jeddah warmer in winter than Dammam?

Saudi Arabia records the lowest rate of dust and sand storms in 20 years. What is the secret?


Sources:

thedebrief

This article was written originally in Arabic and is translated using a 3rd party automated service. ArabiaWeather is not responsible for any grammatical errors whatsoever.
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