Jan 09, 2021 I Nick Redfern

Life on the Planet Venus? Just Maybe There Is

Any debate concerning life - intelligent or otherwise - in our solar system is almost certainly going to focus on Mars. After all, whether you buy into the "life on Mars" controversy or not, there's no doubt that the planet is filled with anomalies. Chiefly, those anomalies can be seen in NASA's very own photographs. NASA personnel are content to conclude it's all down to pareodilia. That's the phenomenon of seeing - for two examples of many - the face of a dog in the clouds, and the image of Elvis in a couple of coffee. It is a fact that, though, that some of the photos coming back from Mars do seem to show something much more than just a trick of the eye. Consider these on Mars: the Face-Hugger, the Banyan Trees, the Face on Mars, the Crowned Face and more. But, what about another of the planets in our solar-system? How about Venus? It's true that Venus hasn't had the publicity and interest it should have. Anyone who is familiar with the 1950s-era "Contactee" movement will know that many of the so-called "Space Brothers"  - allegedly met by George Adamski, George Van Tassel and so on - claimed face-to-face encounters with Venusians. Of course, many people are happy to totally dismiss the yarns of the Contactees. Even I can see that, despite the fact that I still think there is more to the Contactee issue than meets the eye. That said, let's have a look at what we know about the possibility of life being on Venus.

Wikipedia say: "Fictional representations of the planet Venus have existed since the 19th century. Its impenetrable cloud cover gave science fiction writers free rein to speculate on conditions at its surface; all the more so when early observations showed that not only was it very similar in size to Earth, it possessed a substantial atmosphere. Closer to the Sun than Earth, the planet was frequently depicted as warmer, but still habitable by humans. The genre reached its peak between the 1930s and 1950s, at a time when science had revealed some aspects of Venus, but not yet the harsh reality of its surface conditions."

In 2018, Space.com ran article titled "Life on Venus" Why It's Not an Absurd Thought." Writer Mike Wall said: "Sure, the planet's surface is famously inhospitable today — bone-dry and hot enough to melt lead, with an atmospheric pressure 90 times greater than that of Earth at sea level. To feel that same amount of squeeze on our planet, you'd have to descend about 3,000 feet (900 meters) into the oceans. But Venus was a temperate world long ago, with seas that persisted for eons — perhaps 2 billion years or more, according to recent modeling research. Venus may therefore have been a habitable planet 'for much of solar system history,' astrobiologist David Grinspoon, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, said Thursday (April 12) during a talk at the Breakthrough Discuss conference here at Stanford University."

Venus 570x349
Venus appearing brightly in the western sky over the Pacific (Wikimedia Commons).

Two years later, Live Science informed its readers that evidence of life on Venus might have been found back in the latter part of the 1970s. The article was titled "Did NASA detect a hint of life on Venus in 1978 and not realize it?" In part, it read: "Life on Venus is still a long shot. But there's reason to take the idea seriously. On Sept. 14, a team of scientists made a bombshell announcement in the journal Nature Astronomy: Using telescopes, they'd detected phosphine, a toxic gas long proposed as a possible sign of alien microbial life, in the upper part of the planet's thick atmosphere. The detection was a landmark in the long hunt for life elsewhere in the solar system, which has mostly focused attention on Mars and a few moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn. Meanwhile, Venus, hot and poisonous, was long considered too inhospitable for anything to survive. But now, digging through archival NASA data, Rakesh Mogul, a biochemist at Cal Poly Pomona in California, and colleagues have found a hint of phosphine picked up by Pioneer 13 — a probe that reached Venus in December 1978."

In light of all the above, just maybe - one day - we'll be discussing Venus in just the way we are in relation to Mars.

Nick Redfern
Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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