First life forms on Earth may have formed in ponds not oceans

Ponds may have provided better conditions for primitive life forms to develop due to their high levels of nitrogen.

    2019/04/19

NSFW    BOSTON — New research by MIT suggests that ancient ponds may have been a more suitable place for early life to develop, not oceans, according to a recent study by MIT published in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.

Ponds roughly 10 to 100 centimeters deep may have provided better conditions for primitive life forms to develop due to their high levels of nitrogen in the form of nitrogenous oxides.

Nitrogenous oxides are a result of lightning strikes splitting nitrogen bonds in the atmosphere and are hypothesized to be part of the creation of life. A hypothesis states that life was developed when nitrogenous oxides and primitive RNA mixed, creating amino acids that would later become living organisms.

The study found that ultraviolet light from the Sun and dissolved iron from rocks could have diluted concentrations of nitrogenous oxides in the ocean due to its large volume.

Shallow bodies of water like ponds and puddles, on the other hand, could have held higher concentrations of the nitrogenous oxides and RNA molecules, allowing them to mix more easily and develop into living organisms.
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