Octopuses Came From Outer Space, According to This Bizarre Study

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Octopuses are strange creatures. Some might even say they’re out of this world. And if something seems unexplainable, why not blame it on aliens?

A controversial paper published in the journal Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology suggests just that.

The paper claims that octopuses are so complex they must have extraterrestrial origins. Spoiler alert: there’s no solid evidence to support this.

Who’s Behind the Study?

The paper is authored by 33 researchers, none of whom are zoologists.

One of the authors, Chandra Wickramasinghe, is known for promoting the idea of “directed panspermia” – the theory that life on Earth began with microbes from space.

Wickramasinghe has tried to prove this theory before, without success.

The Cambrian Explosion and Alien Microbes

This latest paper questions whether the Cambrian explosion – a period 500 million years ago when complex life forms began to appear – was caused by extraterrestrial influences.

While the true cause of the Cambrian explosion is still debated, attributing it to aliens is a bit of a stretch.

The researchers propose that alien microbes kickstarted the Cambrian explosion, eventually leading to the evolution of the octopus.

They argue that the octopus’s complex genome, large brain, and camera-like eyes appeared suddenly in evolutionary history, suggesting an extraterrestrial origin.

The Wild Theories

One wild theory in the paper even suggests that octopus eggs might have been cryopreserved on a comet and delivered to Earth.

They also mention that squid eggs could have traveled the same way.

A Significant Shift in Understanding?

The paper goes as far as to say that we might be on the verge of a significant shift in our understanding of how life began on Earth, comparing it to how continental drift was once dismissed but later accepted.

Expert Reactions

Experts, however, are not convinced. Mark Carnall from the Oxford University Museum of Natural History criticized the paper, pointing out flaws in their genetic analysis of cephalopods (the group that includes octopuses).

Seth Finnegan, an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, called the paper “predictably terrible,” despite finding one figure in the paper somewhat compelling.

Jonathan Eisen, a Professor at the University of California, Davis, summed it up well: “There is no evidence octopuses came from space.”

Conclusion

So, while it’s a fun idea to think about, the notion that octopuses are aliens is, for now, just science fiction.


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