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Alien Rain Over India

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the like-purple-rain-over-minnesota? dept.

241

tintinaujapon writes "The Observer is reporting that scientists may have found the first evidence of panspermia, the idea promoted by Hoyle (among others) that life on earth was seeded from space, in samples of a strange rain which fell over India for two months in 2001. To quote the article: "There is a small bottle containing a red fluid on a shelf in Sheffield University's microbiology laboratory. The liquid looks cloudy and uninteresting. Yet, if one group of scientists is correct, the phial contains the first samples of extraterrestrial life isolated by researchers."" This is a continuation of a story two months back or so.

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241 comments

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Alien attacks! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857001)

Run for cover!!!!!

Re:Alien attacks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857184)

Damn, looks like the alien mods are on extraterestrial crack. Hey, ET, we know that english is your second language, but if they give you mod points you should at least look up the meanings of off topic and humor. Mmmkay?

news? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857010)

nothing to see here. move along.

Finally! Now we know ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857016)

... where TripMaster Monkey came from!

I would.... (0)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857017)

...welcome our new rain-bearing overlords.... But apparently they've been around for a while :/

Or it could be (3, Interesting)

The_Mr_Flibble (738358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857018)

An Invasion force ?

Re:Or it could be (5, Funny)

TangoCharlie (113383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857173)

More likely to be some kind of alien biological weapon. Obviously, the aliens have
read HG Wells' War of the Worlds and are making sure we get wiped out first. Of course,
it's the Chickens they should be after. H5N1 is much bigger threat to alien life forms
than the common cold.

Re:Or it could be (1)

The_Mr_Flibble (738358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857301)

Biological weapon ?
What better biological weapon than one that breads and terraforms the planet to be hospitable for the invading army.
(I feel a tinfoil moment)
Think about it.
Mankind could be the agents of the aliens who require a rich c02 atmosphere.
Since the dawn of mankind he has been cutting down the forests/plantlife and causing pollution in the form of c02 and it's only getting worse.
Soon only the basic forms of planetlife will be able to survive on an inhospitable planet from our point of view.
But if your an alien race with a long term plan for this planet it was a brilliant plan.

Re:Or it could be (2, Funny)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857385)

brilliant in its inefficiency!

Re:Or it could be (2, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857554)

But kind of interesting on principle. As we humans make something similar (in a smaller scale) trying to plant trees in the earth as they get CO_2 and and release O_2...

Of course, although the theory is good, in practice it is not working that good. On the other hand, we are being very good at improving this CO_2 emissions don't you think?

Re:Or it could be (4, Interesting)

bri2000 (931484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857556)

Another similar theory (which I found quite amusing - while hastening to add that I am quite aware it is basically BS, has no evidence to support it and is not very credible) is that an alien race with an extremely long time horizon looks for planets which are capable of sustaining life (for the sake of argument say planets on which water is in liquid form), seeds them with bacteria or RNA strands or whatever then sits back for a couple of hundred million years while an ecosystem evolves so there's plenty for them to eat and hydro-carbons to use (for plastics if not fuel) when they get here. Obviously there's a risk that intellegent life will evolve and use all these resources before they arrive but if they've seeded plenty of planets this shouldn't be too much of a set-back for them. They just eliminate the infestation, leave things to recover and go somewhere else for now.

Sphynxiums! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857021)

I am the first to comment on this pathetic article, My name is DaemonZoids of the Skatsium, I here to destroy all.

Fare thee well, microPsylom ! May the SarenGonath protect`th thee !

I for one.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857023)

welcome our cloudy red uninteresting extraterestrial overlords.

Lets hope they're not pissed we locked up their mates in a bottle on a lab shelf.

That was on digg yesterday (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857027)

By the way... first post !

Sorry but... (0, Offtopic)

grennis (344262) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857028)

I read about this on digg days ago.

Sorry, but it's true.

Re:Sorry but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857250)

And so helpful that you told us that.
If it weren't for your alruistic newsgathering efforts, I don't know where slashdot would be.

You know, some people go through life complaining about every little thing.
I'm glad that you've taken the time to make a difference instead of just complaining.

Jupiter a better choice than Saturn in 2001 (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857029)

If you've read the book, you'd know that the movie version of 2001 uses Jupiter rather than Saturn as described in the book. The more I watch it, the more it makes sense that Jupiter is the correct planet and Saturn just doesn't quite fit. If you look at the space ship (the one with HAL and Dave), it looks like a single sperm and it's flying towards the giant egg Jupiter. We humans are performing panspermia right in our own solar system!

It's pretty fucking deep, and if you're on mushrooms, the hour long warp scene makes total sense.

But realistically, if we can pollinate other planets with our germs, then it seems more than likely that other planets could eject matter which eventually cross pollinates with us. The question is whether something like that could survive in the harsh radiation of space. There are obviously some bacteria that could make the trip, but how common are these extremophiles? Probably not as extreme as sending up a sperm ship to penetrate Jupiter's Big Red Dot and impregnate it with our space baby.

Re:Jupiter a better choice than Saturn in 2001 (5, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857072)

The question is whether something like that could survive in the harsh radiation of space.

Apollo 12 landed near the Surveyor probe, which had landed a few years previously. The astronauts broke off a section and returned it to Earth. It was then found that bacteria had survived on Surveyor, on the Moon, in spore form - and once returned, came back to life and started replicating again.

I've also read lately (I believe it was in the current New Scientist) that an experiment on bacteria was sent up on Columbia. On being recovered, it turned out that the three cultures that were intended to be in there had all been killed off by the heat of reentry - but that a contaminant strain had survived and thrived inside the unbroken sealed container.

Bacteria are tough, and we can assume that anything leaving Earth is infested with them.

similarly (2, Informative)

grumpyjack (958081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857145)

And also, on the same mission, before take-off someone who was preparing the craft for launch sneezed on the camera. When the craft returned the bacteria from the sneeze was found to be alive and well having survived the voyage.

Re:Jupiter a better choice than Saturn in 2001 (2, Informative)

Compulsion (734114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857154)

If this [com.com] is what you're referring to, they were very small worms, not bacteria. I'm sure there was some bacteria in there, though.

Re:Jupiter a better choice than Saturn in 2001 (3, Interesting)

m0nstr42 (914269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857202)

On being recovered, it turned out that the three cultures that were intended to be in there had all been killed off by the heat of reentry - but that a contaminant strain had survived and thrived inside the unbroken sealed container.

That's an important point, though. In both of those cases, whatever lived was shielded during re-entry. A spore on an asteroid or other "natural" projectile would experience similar (worse, probably) extremes and it seems less and less likely they could survive "re-entry" (entry, rather?). Could a lone bacteria/spore/whatever that was just "floating" on its own through space survive entry into the atmosphere without being burned up?

My guess (IANA cosmologist) is that after a long journey through space it would have been accellerated to great speed by passing nearby massive objects, so despite not having much mass the friction would still be pretty intense.

Re:Jupiter a better choice than Saturn in 2001 (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857321)

In practice small objects don't tend to do reentry like larger objects. The differance is mainly in that they don't resist deceleration so much having a much larger surface area then mass, this leads to them gently floating down the atmosphere. If I remember correctly very fine dust enters the planet constantly, never burning up cause it just isn't heavy enough to suffer that fate.

Re:Jupiter a better choice than Saturn in 2001 (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857620)

I think sea monkeys are pretty amazing. Why couldn't some life form like that just hitch a ride on/in a rock until it hits water?
Doesn't matter what planet, when the conditions are right, it'll hatch.

Re:Jupiter a better choice than Saturn in 2001 (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857101)

"if you're on mushrooms, the hour long warp scene makes total sense"

...and if you're not on mushrooms, it's only 5 minutes long!

Meanwhile in Kansas ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857036)

... a young farming couple wonders what the red meteor was that ended up falling apart over India.

Yuck.

Very impressive (4, Funny)

endrue (927487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857037)

There is a small bottle containing a red fluid on a shelf in Sheffield University's microbiology laboratory.

Is that like a ship in a bottle?

What?!?! (0, Offtopic)

DarkNemesis618 (908703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857039)

No secret government cover-up? I'm shocked.

Peter Gabriel an alien prophet? I think so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857045)

Reeeeed Raiiin is Falling Down
we gon' git it

According to the current New Scientist... (4, Interesting)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857047)

... this may actually be blood. The particles do look quite like red blood cells, and that would explain the lack of DNA found in them.

It's almost as outlandish as 'the meteor was full of alien bugs', though; what we seem to have with this hypothesis was 'the meteor burst in the middle of a flock of bats and liquidised them'...

No link, the website article is subscription-only. Sorry.

Re:According to the current New Scientist... (2, Funny)

LucidBeast (601749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857096)

It is blood and Han Solo got to them first. We can all take it easy now.

Re:According to the current New Scientist... (2, Interesting)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857136)

Charles Fort strikes again.

Maybe God did it (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857452)

If I've learned nothing else from the study of intelligent design; it's that, when in doubt, shrug your shoulders and say "Maybe my sky-god did it."

-Eric

Link to Louis' original paper (3, Informative)

Oxygen99 (634999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857550)

No link to the New Scientist, but here's the paper written to support the original hypothesis:

link [arxiv.org]

Alien rain? Riiiiiiight. (3, Funny)

Stephen H-B (771203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857050)

Good thing my tinfoil hat is waterproof. Let's see those alien rain bugs infest my brain now!

fools? (1)

jevring (618916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857053)

Since when did 06/03 become 01/04?

Uh.. (1)

Sirak (959168) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857057)

So wait... There has been proof of alien existance for a couple of years now, and no one thought to bring this up?

That, or a bunch of birds were exploded by lightning, and the rain was red for another reason. Either way, I want to know, and I want to know now!

Brb, Sheffield.

  -Sirak

Re:Uh.. (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857176)

FTFA:
Critical to Louis's theory is the length of time the red rain fell on Kerala. Two months is too long for it to have been wind-borne dust, he says.

It can't possibly have been raining blood from birds or bats for two months either.

Re:Uh.. (1)

redalien (711170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857244)

It couldn't have been blood from birds, as avian blood cells are nucleated. Mammalian blood, on the other hand, does not contain nucleated red blood cells, so would match this. The NS article does recognise that a meteor airburst in a flock of bats could have caused this, but there were 50 tonnes of cells released, and nobody has found a big ol' pile of wings yet.

Re:Uh.. (1)

Blisshead (959178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857263)

but I like the exploding bird theory.

Re:Uh.. (1)

AlienSlav (944547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857418)

Ok It's my fault you gringo humanoid. The mother ship is in fixed orbit over India and we have been patched into their communication satellite listening in on the chatter. On the day in question I pulled the violet lever and pushed the blue button this discharged the holding tanks. Sorry I'll be more careful next time it's push the yellow button and pull the chrome lever to flush then wash all appendages with disinfectant.
AlienSlave

In Soviet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857058)

In soviet russia we keep rain in cardboard boexs

Re:In Soviet (4, Funny)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857121)

Common, at least try to try.
In Soviet Russia aliens reign over you!

Slow news day? (0, Offtopic)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857062)

This article adds what, exactly, to the previous article?

Re:Slow news day? (-1, Flamebait)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857160)

What previous article? Oh, you mean the one on Digg [digg.com] . Yes, it seems as though visiting Digg can help you to predict what will appear on Slashdot the following day! I've seen at least 10 duplicate articles first appear on Digg, then on Slashdot the next day. I guess it's useful if you want your Slashdot submissions to go through.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

krunchyfrog (786414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857237)

These days I first read Slashdot to see the most important news, then I spend the rest of the day refreshing Digg. That way I don't miss too much. Except for Ask Slashdots. Digg doesn't have a "Ask Digg".

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857269)

>Except for Ask Slashdots. Digg doesn't have a "Ask Digg".

Yet :o)

One big problem (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857068)

From the article:

But Godfrey Louis, a physicist at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, after gathering samples left over from the rains, concluded this was nonsense.

He didn't collect uncontaminated samples. He collected samples that had, apparently, collected in puddles. Depending on where those puddles were, ground, steel barrel, rooftop, squeezed from a soaked shirt, etc, they were not the same as putting out a clean jar and collecting the rain as it fell.

It would be nice if these samples had been collected in the correct manner then a more convincing argument could be made that what was found came from space and was not of terrestrial origins.

This is like people who have cancer, undergo treatment for a while then stop. Then they resort to prayer to cure them. If they're cured they claim it was the prayer that did the work. However, since they had already undergone treatment, we can't say for sure which helped the person. The results are contaminated by their original treatment.

Same thing in this instance.

Re:One big problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857166)

You're making an assumption based on the wording of the article. Given that the rain occurred over the course of two months, it's also a reasonable assumption that the scientist left some containers out to collect it, and these were the "samples left over from the rains". That sentence just doesn't give enough information to know for sure.

Re:One big problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857521)

Anyone who uses an example to discredit Christianity is the type of person who uses assumptions or misinformation rather than facts to make a point.

Re:One big problem (5, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857299)

It would be nice if these samples had been collected in the correct manner

You see people, this is why I've set up a petition to fund an army of scientists which will be deployed at one-meter intervals to cover the entire earth! In case anything interresting ever happens, we'll have qualified people with the right equipment right there to take samples and measurments.

And they said I was being unrealistic... the FOOLS!

Huh? Insightful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857347)

This is like people who have cancer, undergo treatment for a while then stop. Then they resort to prayer to cure them. If they're cured they claim it was the prayer that did the work.

---

Pissing off the religious right at every opportunity and proud of it

Stupid mods can't even recognize a self-professed troll when they see one.

Questions (4, Interesting)

LS (57954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857081)

1. How could a single meteor/comet cause _two months_ of red rain?
2. Why the crys of "bullshit" from other researchers? There is a piece of evidence, not just a claim. It seems easy to figure out what's going on by analyzing the contents of that bottle.

LS

Re:Questions (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857249)

2. Why the crys of "bullshit" from other researchers? There is a piece of evidence, not just a claim. It seems easy to figure out what's going on by analyzing the contents of that bottle.

That begs the question: Are the contents of the bottle guaranteed to be sterile, uncontaminated by their trip from space (theoretically) to the bottle? From reports of the collection methods, chances are slim.

Thus, bullshit I cry.

Re:Questions (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857435)

"That begs the question" ... No it doesn't. That does not mean what you think it means.

Re:Questions (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857575)

So now we know the truth.

"Anonymous Coward" is a pseudonym for Inigo Montoya.

Re:Questions (2, Insightful)

RetiredMidn (441788) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857306)

1. How could a single meteor/comet cause _two months_ of red rain?

All in the same place? (More appropriately, only reported in one place?)

Come on, /. When I want to waste my time on crap like this, I turn to digg.

Alien? (5, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857083)

We know this because we've discovered everything on Earth already. We ran this through our big database of shit on Earth thingy and it came up negative.

First Fortean post (1)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857093)

Maybe it's time to re-read the works of one Charles Hoy Fort [sacred-texts.com] ?

Re:First Fortean post (1)

ithrax (837113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857208)

Thanks, I was thinking the same thing. "Blood rains" aren't new. I think the idea is new that they the rains are the Birth of our world and not a sign of the End of it. Origin of the Species = Rain of Toads?

Sounds impressive (5, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857095)

But I keep 'vials' of amber fluid in my fridge that came down from the sky on a plane. Truly a gift from the Carlton United Brewery gods.

Re:Sounds impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857459)

Vickie Bitter? For the love of all that's holy, don't say Foster's.

Re:Sounds impressive (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857632)

You're safe mate, Crownies only!

Replay (2, Informative)

Kangburra (911213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857110)

In case you missed the first article about this, they had a similar powder in Chicago, pictures too

http://www.nbc5.com/news/5884173/detail.html [nbc5.com]

Re:Replay (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857280)

pointer to x-files episode (1)

sig226 (171084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857123)

X-files already covered this in an episode about the
chupacabra (goat sucker), except it was yellow rain.

Re:pointer to x-files episode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857362)

Don't you mean golden shower?

In India because (1)

Liveandletlive (841246) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857127)

the aliens are sending their initial representatives to access possibility of outsourcing to India. Way to go!!

The locals describe differently.. (1)

Sattwic (545957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857149)

According to local dailies here, the color of that rain in Kerala ranged from 'red' to 'burgundy' or 'brown'. Initially, it was blamed on polluting industrial units, but then, hordes of scientists started to descend on the areas which received the rain.

spaceship dump -- same as "blue ice" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857157)

This has been traced to the waste dump system on a type 1 centari saucer. It was from their dump system, much like the blue ice dumped by modern jets.

Bullshit. (3, Interesting)

TangoCharlie (113383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857196)

My favourite quote from the article is

Not everyone is convinced by the idea, of course. Indeed most researchers think it is highly dubious. One scientist who posted a message on Louis's website described it as 'bullshit'.

The slashdot posting would almost have you believe that Aliens had actually landed. Sheesh!

Ancient Semitic religions (0, Flamebait)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857216)

Apparently believe that the rain is the Sky father-god inseminating the mother Earth. If so, this is just another example of religious fundamentalists with agenda trying to distort science. Hang on a moment...

Re:Ancient Semitic religions (2, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857254)

Well, the Bible does speak of rain and rivers running red with blood. Now we've seen it happen. Start looking for a plague of toads next and be ready with the sheep's blood.

My problem with it: (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857234)

From TFA:
Critical to Louis's theory is the length of time the red rain fell on Kerala. Two months is too long for it to have been wind-borne dust, he says.

So two months is not too long for commet dust to hang around and and fall in rain? If the commet were that damn big, why only in India?

Re:My problem with it: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857312)

Exactly. If two months is "too long for it to have been wind-borne dust", it is even less likely to have been from a single high-altitude comet event. It doesn't make any sense. High altitude winds should have dispersed the material over a much wider area, and tremendously diluted it. I mean, ash plumes from volcanoes spread over whole continents in just a few days, and are globally distributed (at least along a latitudinal band) in the time span they are talking about.

It is far more likely that this stuff was picked up multiple times (i.e. in separate events) from some local ground source due to suitable weather conditions that persisted for a month or two in the region. Maybe the wind was blowing fungal spores off the adjacent inland plateaus?

Peter Gabriel is an alien (3, Interesting)

bjb (3050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857236)

Hmm.. after seeing images of the guy during his "makeup years" (1972-early 80's), this now make sense:

Peter Gabriel -- "Red Rain"
Red rain is coming down
Red rain, Red rain is pouring down
Pouring down all over me

I am standing up at the water's edge in my dream
I cannot make a single sound as you scream
It can't be that cold, the ground is still warm to touch
This place is so quiet, sensing that storm

Red rain is coming down
Red rain, Red rain is pouring down
Pouring down all over me

Well I've seen them buried in a sheltered place in this town
They tell you that this rain can sting, and look down
The aliens have created life for us
Hay ay ay no pain, Seeing no red at all, see no rain

Red rain is coming down
Red rain, Red rain is pouring down
Pouring down all over me

Red rain-
There sprouts a human, o'er there a puppy
To return again and again
Just let the red rain splash you
Let the rain fall on your skin
It's like fertilizer, oh yeah
To create a new child

Red rain is coming down
Red rain, Red rain is pouring down
Pouring down all over me
And I can't watch it yet
No eye formed yet
It's so hard to lay down in all of this
Red rain is coming down
Red rain is pouring down
Red rain is coming down all over me
I see it, Red rain is coming down
Red rain is pouring down
Red rain is coming down all over me
I'm bathing in it, Red rain coming down
Red rain is coming down
Red rain is coming down all over me
I'm begging you, Red rain coming down
Red rain coming down
Red rain coming down
Red rain coming down
Over me in the red red sea, Over me, Over me, Red rain

(apologies to Mr. Gabriel)

Re:Peter Gabriel is an alien (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857443)

Gabriel has said he was thinking about nuclear fallout after a nuclear holocaust. Hopefully aliens raping our seas isn't worse.

Re:Peter Gabriel is an alien (1)

HawkinsD (267367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857591)

The White Stripes also sing about the Red Rain, on their recent Get Behind Me Satan album. But I don't think it's the same idea.

John Tesh, on the other hand, has a rather alien-sounding track called "Red Rain" on his 1997 horror-show entitled (shudder) Sax All Night.

Forgive me.. (1)

roadhog95 (462989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857253)

But, wasnt there an episode of Star Trek TNG [memory-alpha.org] that deciphered this for us some 10 odd years ago?

Too bad the facts are so humdrum. (4, Insightful)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857258)

I *see*--- there's stuff that if his claims are true, would be the biggest news since I don't know when. But it's been sitting around for FIVE YEARS and not confirmed by anybody else. And apparently he hasnt given samples to other scientists. And it hasnt appeared on the front page of the NYT.

One might surmise that the stuff is something more placid, like common earth dust, pollen, bee-poop, grasshopper-poop, or any number of other things of-this-Earth.

A real scientist would have gone out of his way to compare the funny stuff to various earth items, in a good-faith effort to identify the stuff. Not just do batch analyses of the constituent elements. There's 1000's of things that might have that mix of elements and NOT be from off-planetary sources.

Re:Too bad the facts are so humdrum. (1)

TallMatthew (919136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857341)

I *see*--- there's stuff that if his claims are true, would be the biggest news since I don't know when. But it's been sitting around for FIVE YEARS and not confirmed by anybody else. And apparently he hasnt given samples to other scientists. And it hasnt appeared on the front page of the NYT.

"Life on Earth Spawned from Extraterrestials" just doesn't seem like it would fit on the Times front page next to "Parliamentry Procedures Revisited in Istanbul" and "US Farmers Denounce Cutbacks in Fed Agricultural Subsidies." Unless aliens end up on reality television no one's going to believe they exist.

This guy's theory is no more or less plausible than any other explanation I've ever heard for how a rock, some water and a collection of other elements ended up creating Chevy Chase, Portabello mushrooms and that green crap that grows under my toenails if I don't cut them often enough.

Re:Too bad the facts are so humdrum. (1)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857640)

Your post seems to imply that you have an issue with abiogenesis and evolution.

Chubby rain? (2, Funny)

Slashdolt (166321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857271)

Someone had to say it...

E.T. drove by and pissed out the window. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857311)

Even though there is no proof, I know that that's what happened. He clearly had kidney stones though. They scratched his urethra, which explains the blood.

Blood Storm (3, Funny)

LS (57954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857277)

It appears that something similar occurred over Florida mid-December.

Here's the article [theonion.com]

LS

Chalk one up (1)

Bazzalisk (869812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857287)

Chalk one up for Charles Forte.

Alien Rain (1)

ellijacket (937537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857292)

Alien Rain Alien Rain I only want to see you analyzing the Alien Rain. I don't want to be your weekend contaminant..... I only want to be a quack I'd have to be an idiot to believe this crap but I only want to see you dancing in the ALIEN RAIN!

I concur witht the findings (1)

bermudatriangleoflov (951747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857293)

I had the benefit of travelling to India for business for 2 weeks in the monsoon season. One does not need a scientific background to confirm that alien rain does indeed fall in India....excrement rain, trash rain, and curry rain have also been found.

New Scientist article (4, Interesting)

woodlouse_man (903301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857354)

Read this in New Scientist over the weekend. Link here (but you need to be a subscriber)

http://www.newscientistspace.com/article/mg1892541 1.100 [newscientistspace.com]

Very interesting article, with several possible explanations.

The most plausible, to my mind, is the mammalian red blood cells. They seem to be the right shape, and have no DNA (like the particles).

As they said in the NS article, the question really remains is - if they are mamallian red blood cells, how did the clouds get seeded with them int he first place?

Alternative Explanations? (2, Interesting)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857442)

Can anybody here suggest some plausible alternatative explanations? Is it at all possible that minerals or "organic soup" or something was reabsorbed enmasse into the atmosphere and rained down? I mean....I am DEFINITELY not religious...but this is a little creepy (read:cool) even for me. Raining blood? Isn't that one of the signs of the apocolypse or something?

Re:Alternative Explanations? (1)

bmalia (583394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857585)

Can anybody here suggest some plausible alternatative explanations?

a) bullshit
b) bullshit
c) bullshit
d) all of the above

Re:Alternative Explanations? (1)

Electric Eye (5518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857621)

Yeah, it's called massive POLLUTION. Having been to India, there is a permanent layer of dark brown haze that blankets the country at roughly 5,000 feet or so. In fact, most of SE Asia is covered by this perma-smog. While this certainly would be interesting to have alien babies dropped in India, my guess it's just the result of pollution.

Rain != Rein (1)

se7en11 (833841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857497)

Aww man... I totally misread this story title...

Occam's Razor (2, Insightful)

maggard (5579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857516)

Wow - Hemos posted this & not ScuttleMonkey? Usually SM is the one who falls for the "I read it on the Intarweb so it must be true!" psuedo-science...

Look, that there's lots of stuff from off-planet in rain is well known and trivially documented; a couple of tons a day comes down. Heck, run a magnet over the gunk in a rainwater drain and a fair proportion of what gets pulled up will be extra-terrestrial in origin. This is one of those classic easy Science Fair projects.

There's even a popular theory of raindrop formation that requires these high altitude extra-terrestrial fines as the nucleus for starting droplet cascades.

However, 2 months of material entering the Earth's atmosphere over a limited geographical area - there's no mechanism that would permit this. The Earth rotates every 24 hours as it revolves around our Sun: What could be impacting our planet on a schedule that has it ingressing at distinct 24 hour intervals over 2 months/a series of 60, to a non-equatorial location?

Someone really needs to get this guy a globe, or better yet an orrery [wikipedia.org] .

Sure it's possible that the rain contaminant isn't upwind mineralogical fines - sure it could be biological fines. Pollen is the obvious source, they had a huge bloom of something odd upwind that year. I know my house gets covered in yellow 'dust' every spring from all the nearby trees, red is just as possible.

But "it's alien life from ooouter spaaace!..." - no. Not saying that couldn't happen, hasn't happened, isn't happening, but this wouldn't be the pattern and there are too many much more prosaic explanations than these extraordinary claims.

The liquid looks cloudy and uninteresting? (1)

Go_Ask_Alex (459685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857522)

The liquid looks cloudy and uninteresting? Don't talk about my family that way!

And don't worry about the "alien invasion" either, we always try to find hosts who wouldn't resist or twitch too much over being in an overtly symbiotic relationship. Your current parasites really haven't been doing much for you, we'll change that. We offer change: we provide the brains, you provide the body, and everyone will be happy in the end. Hell, Alex here is getting laid more since he can now talk NPR with the BoHo chicks, and I'm starting to really get into earth women; sweet! Network gaming sure wasn't doing it for Al here, your life will improve too.

The invasion will begin shortly... once the current season of America's Next Top Model is over. I'm really liking Al's Lazy Boy gaming chair too.

Red Rain. I think not (0, Redundant)

MajorDick (735308) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857552)

Jesus has a bladder infection thats all......

The cloudiness would prove this hypothesis....

Test for blood if its positive, its the blood of CHRIST !!!!

Then we can clone about 100 of him an REALLY piss off the religoous right,

Or Better YET !!!!, Use it for STEM CELL RESEARCH !

Aliens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14857567)

"They're in everyone's eggs"

CGI video. (1)

CCFreak2K (930973) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857635)

For some reason, this makes me think of that one CGI sequence with the seeds that fall on a planet, grow and shoot more seeds out into space. Anyone know the name?

Possible Strange Earthlife More the Point (3, Interesting)

Rob Carr (780861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14857636)

New Scientist has a more extensive article titled Alien rain over India [newscientistspace.com] . The possible causes for 50 tons of the red gunk range from panspermia to sand to high flying bats killed by an exploding meteor. Somehow, I think panspermia is more likely than the bats, although that's not saying much.

More interesting is the idea that "alien" life might originate on Earth. Modern techniques involve culturing and DNA analysis that assume standard DNA in an organism: adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. Viruses can have RNA, but they're not considered alive (that's another argument for another day).

There are other nucleic acids and other nucleic acid pairs. There might even be molecules that could polymerize and act as hereditary subunits. Such life wouldn't have to come from space. Standard theory taught that several kinds of life might have come from the prebiotic soup, but only one survived.

We now know that's not exactly true. There are a few organisms that don't use the exact standard DNA code. The mitochondria in your cells are a perfect example, although they're no longer free-living independent organisms.

What else is out there? The possibility that there is a parallel and intertwined ecosystem is becoming a hot topic in biology.

Rains of frogs, seaweed, sand, and other things aren't uncommon. A rain of non-standard bacteria isn't beyond possibility. Of course, neither is a government experiment on deploying biological weapons, although 50 tons is a lot, whether English or Metric. A foul-up in the biochemistry or some weird damage to the DNA is still more likely. But wouldn't it be fun if it turned out to be Earthlife that's alien?

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