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Red rain phenomenon of Kerala - aka alien rain?

  1. Jan 5, 2006 #1

    EL

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  3. Jan 5, 2006 #2
  4. Jan 5, 2006 #3

    Danger

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    Intriguing, I must say. I'd be more inclined to suspect some type of plankton or something that had been picked up by a waterspout, but that lack of DNA is kinda weird. Any cell biologists reading this want to weigh in?
     
  5. Jan 10, 2006 #4
    Red rain phenomenon of Kerala

    Images taken from the pdf: the red rain microbes

    What do u think these things are?
     
  6. Jan 10, 2006 #5
    The immediate thing that I see in the world-science.net article is a complete absence of anything that implies extraterrestrial origin other than the old UFO standby:

    "It is in the sky. I don't know what it is. I don't know where it came from.
    Therefore I conclude that it is extraterrestrial."

    In order to offer an opinion on what they are, I will need you supply me with a Ph.D. in microbiology, a fully equipped lab with supporting staff, and samples of the material in question. Insight from God would be useful too. :smile:
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  7. Jan 10, 2006 #6

    Moonbear

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    I don't know what they are, but they don't look biological to me. At the magnifications they're using, you should be able to see great detail in cellular ultrastructure. I see nothing but hazy blobs. What they are calling a cellular membrane looks nothing like a cellular membrane should look using electron microscopy. With the presence of Silicon in the samples, I'd be more inclined to say it was some sort of mineral.

    I'm moving this thread to skepticism and debunking.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2006 #7
    i don't get it> 4 years and not identified...and this 'stuff' has been reported falling from the skies all around the world for how long now?

    Why hasn't anyone done a comparison study yet?

    Here's a short list collected from Forte of 'red rains' etc.

    http://www.dragonrest.net/fortfiles/falls.html#red
     
  9. Jan 11, 2006 #8
    How they got up into the atmosphere, being so small, is probably no mystery. What they came from in such concentrations is probably a long story. They may start off as some secretion given off by swarms of insects or some liquid secreted by plants somewhere which gets swept up by wind to high altitudes where the droplets form the "shell" or membrane somehow.

    They don't give what compounds they're made of, just individual elements, and it says they're mostly carbon and oxygen. What besides CO2 and CO would you get from carbon and oxygen?
     
  10. Jan 12, 2006 #9
    In the newsstory one researcher say they could be spores.
    But do spores contain DNA?
     
  11. Jan 12, 2006 #10

    matthyaouw

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    Yes, they should do.

    I was going to say some of the shots remind me of red blood cells, espescially with the lack of DNA, but Moonbear knows better than me I'm sure.
    I hope any apocolypse-predicting nutjobs don't pick up on that. Rain of blood would probably be quit high on their list of things to look for.
     
  12. Jan 13, 2006 #11

    Moonbear

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    At first glance, I thought red blood cells too, but when I looked more closely, they were too irregularly shaped (they really don't all look the same shape at all when you look at them in the higher magnification images), and too small. The article is saying these things are 4-10 micrometers in diameter, but looking at the scales on the figures shown, they look more consistently to be about 2 micrometers in diameter. The scale bars in the last three figures are 20, 10 and 5 micrometers, respectively. You can easily see from the last figure that they are all smaller than 5 micrometers, about half the length of that scale bar.

    Just for comparison, here's an image of human red blood cells.

    http://www.wadsworth.org/chemheme/heme/microscope/rbc.htm

    And, yes, spores would have DNA.

    It's possible that it's fine dust from sand...it could have been the shell of some organisms broken down and worn smooth over time that formed the dust.

    These are all larger sand grains, but you can see the variety of shapes and sizes in just these examples. The silicon is really leading me to think sand or silica tests of microorganisms (they wouldn't be any sort of cell or have any membrane...it's like a shell).
    http://www.gc.maricopa.edu/earthsci/imagearchive/sands1.htm
     
  13. Jan 13, 2006 #12
    The trouble with your sand suggestion is that they are overwhelmingly made of carbon and oxygen. Silicon is only a "minor constituent". Shell dust can't be right either since shells are primarily calcium carbonate and there's no calcium in these things.

    Red iron oxide might be what's giving these things their color, but without knowing what compounds they found rather than what individual elements, it's pretty much impossible to figure out what's giving them their attributes.
    ---------
    In saying that carbon is the key element of life on earth, what actual compounds of carbon are we talking about that are vital for living things?
     
  14. Jan 13, 2006 #13

    matthyaouw

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  15. Jan 13, 2006 #14
    really interesting! no sign of DNA but has oxygen and carbon. never heard of such a thing. but very mysterious.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2006
  16. Jan 14, 2006 #15
  17. Jan 14, 2006 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    I merged a couple of threads here...
     
  18. Jan 15, 2006 #17
    In this one the author of the link first posted claim he has made these cells multiply. He claims they multiply best at a temperature of 300. Its from 2003 though so I find it VERY wierd that he doesnt mention this in the link first posted since that one is from this month....

    http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0312639
     
  19. Jan 16, 2006 #18
    your right, it is lengthy! anyway the pictures were interesting. i didn't know it myself (i live in india!):redface:
     
  20. Jan 16, 2006 #19
    It definitely doesn't look like a cell. Just because it has a "membrane" and some carbon+oxygen isn't enough to call it a cell from an organism, in my opinion. And it definitely isn't a red blood cell, at least not one from earth, because our red blood cells have DNA.

    Is there any evidence which makes sure that these particles have come from OUTER SPACE? There are thousand ways in which they could have been transfered to high altitudes, originating from earth itself.

    The last thing which in my opinion clarifies for me that these things are not from an organism is the absence of DNA. If the DNA has been there before but "destroyed somehow while moving around in space", I think the actuall "cells" would have been destroyed too before reaching earth.
     
  21. Jan 17, 2006 #20

    matthyaouw

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    No they don't. Red blood cells lack a nucleus and therefore have no DNA.
     
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