Red rain phenomenon of Kerala - aka alien rain?

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  • #2
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EL said:
Have you seen this?
http://www.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0601022
Any comments?

Very interesting!..being that I had stated in PF some years earlier (original forum)..that because of the:http://www.seds.org/sl9/sl9.html [Broken]

there would be some fragments that would make it back to Earth, some time in the future.

This event may be the future?
 
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  • #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?
 
  • #4
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Red rain phenomenon of Kerala

The red rain phenomenon of Kerala and its possible extraterrestrial origin

A paper (arxiv.org) to appear in a scientific journal claims a strange red rain might have dumped microbes from space onto Earth four years ago. But the report is meeting with a shower of skepticism from scientists who say extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof—and this one hasn’t got it. The scientists agree on two points, though. The things look like cells, at least superficially. And no one is sure what they are.

“These particles have much similarity with biological cells though they are devoid of DNA,” wrote Godfrey Louis and A. Santhosh Kumar of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, India, in the controversial paper. “Are these cell-like particles a kind of alternate life from space?”.

http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/060104_specksfrm1.htm

Images taken from the pdf: http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/2967/redrain29ng.jpg [Broken]

What do u think these things are?
 
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  • #5
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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:
 
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  • #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.
 
  • #7
mouseonmoon
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 [Broken]
 
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  • #8
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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?
 
  • #9
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In the newsstory one researcher say they could be spores.
But do spores contain DNA?
 
  • #10
matthyaouw
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PIT2 said:
In the newsstory one researcher say they could be spores.
But do spores contain DNA?

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.
 
  • #11
Moonbear
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matthyaouw said:
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.
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 [Broken]

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 [Broken]
 
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  • #12
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Moonbear said:
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).
“The major constituents of the red particles are carbon and oxygen,” they wrote. Carbon is the key component of life on Earth. “Silicon is most prominent among the minor constituents” of the particles, Louis and Kumar added; other elements found were iron, sodium, aluminum and chlorine.
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?
 
  • #13
matthyaouw
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http://faculty.eas.ualberta.ca/konhauser/TEM-Microfossils.jpg [Broken]
From: http://faculty.eas.ualberta.ca/konhauser/

Similar, no? The text is talking about silicified bacteria. I've not been able to find anything else similar.

Moonbear said:
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.

I've studied microfossil shells a little, and I've not seen any that look like that.
 
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  • #14
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really interesting! no sign of DNA but has oxygen and carbon. never heard of such a thing. but very mysterious.
 
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  • #16
Ivan Seeking
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I merged a couple of threads here...
 
  • #17
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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
 
  • #18
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BeerBaron said:
I was just in a discussion about this on another forum weeks earlier. I dug this pdf up that offers one scenario. A bit lengthy but it has pics of the "cells" :) .
http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0310/0310120.pdf
your right, it is lengthy! anyway the pictures were interesting. i didn't know it myself (i live in india!):redface:
 
  • #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.
 
  • #20
matthyaouw
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ashmanovski said:
And it definitely isn't a red blood cell, at least not one from earth, because our red blood cells have DNA.

No they don't. Red blood cells lack a nucleus and therefore have no DNA.
 
  • #21
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Has anyone considered that these may be a new species adapted for life in the higher atmosphere? Anyway, is there any more info/analysis on them?
 
  • #22
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Newscientist story about the alien rain:

Cockell argues that there could be a simpler explanation the red particles are actually blood. "They look like red blood cells to me," he says. The size fits just right; red blood cells are normally about 6 to 8 micrometres wide. They are naturally dimpled just like the red rain particles. What's more, mammalian red blood cells contain no DNA because they don't have a cell nucleus.

It's tough to explain, however, how 50 tonnes of mammal blood could have ended up in rain clouds. Cockell takes a wild guess that maybe a meteor explosion massacred a flock of bats, splattering their blood in all directions. India is home to around 100 species of bats, which sometimes fly to altitudes of 3 kilometres or more. "A giant flock of bats is actually a possibility maybe a meteor airburst occurred during a bat migration," he says. "But one would have to wonder where the bat wings are."

http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2006/03/03/1427866.htm
 
  • #23
arildno
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Alien rain drops??

Okay, seems this topic was already at PF, but here's a CNN link:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/06/02/red.rain/index.html
CNN said:
As bizarre as it may seem, the sample jars brimming with cloudy, reddish rainwater in Godfrey Louis's laboratory in southern India may hold, well, aliens.

In April, Louis, a solid-state physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University, published a paper in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Astrophysics and Space Science in which he hypothesizes that the samples -- water taken from the mysterious blood-colored showers that fell sporadically across Louis's home state of Kerala in the summer of 2001 -- contain microbes from outer space.

Specifically, Louis has isolated strange, thick-walled, red-tinted cell-like structures about 10 microns in size. Stranger still, dozens of his experiments suggest that the particles may lack DNA yet still reproduce plentifully, even in water superheated to nearly 600 degrees Fahrenheit . (The known upper limit for life in water is about 250 degrees Fahrenheit .)
 
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  • #24
Ivan Seeking
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Thanks for the update arildno.

Panspermia anyone? :biggrin:
 
  • #25
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I wonder how long it takes before it becomes worldnews. I saw it on the CNN site yesterday, but it still hasnt reached european news.
 

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