Volcanic eruption in Greenland created life on earth 3.8 billion years ago

Oct 28, 2011, 12:26 IST | Agencies

Mud volcanoes in Greenland, which erupted 3.8 billion years ago, were the source of life on Earth, according to a new study.

Despite being one of the least densely populated countries in the world, scientists have claimed that Greenland was the birthplace of life.

A team of researchers, from the Laboratory of Geology in Lyon, France studied mud volcanoes in Isua, a region in southwest Greenland.

Analysis of green 'serpentinite' rocks, which are the key to life, from Isua showed that mud volcanoes underwater would have offered an environment that was warm, non-acidic and full of carbonates - the perfect mix to allow the birth of life

They deem that these volcanoes, which erupted 3.8 billion years ago, forced certain elements up to the surface that were essential in the formation of biomolecules -- the building blocks of life.

"The mud volcanoes at Isua thus represent a particularly favourable setting for the emergence of primitive terrestrial life," the Daily Mail quoted lead researcher Marie-Laure Pons as saying.

Previously it was presumed that the first living creatures evolved from geysers - underwater volcanoes, which ejected hydrogen, methane and other gases, which formed an environment favourable to life.

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