Game-changing discovery on the Red Planet: 3.4 billion years of mystery unraveled

4 mins read
Game-changing discovery on the Red Planet: 3.4 billion years of mystery unraveled

Ever since we set foot on the Moon, we have been dreaming of going to Mars. Although this dream has not yet come true, we have managed to send many spacecraft to the planet. Thanks to these spacecraft, countless discoveries have been made about Mars, while the latest research has unraveled the 3.4 billion-year-old mystery about Mars.

Mars, also known as the ‘Red Planet’, has been the target of mankind for years. Although mankind has not yet set foot on Mars, we have managed to send many spacecraft to the planet.

While countless discoveries about Mars have been made thanks to these vehicles, the scientific world may have unlocked a 3.4 billion-year-old mystery about the ‘Red Planet’.

Viking 1 landed on the surface of Mars 46 years ago to explore the planet. A team of researchers believes they have found evidence of an ancient megatsunami that ravaged the planet billions of years ago, less than 965 kilometers from where Viking landed.

According to the study published in Scientific Reports, a 110-kilometer-wide crater has been discovered in the northern plains of Mars, thought to have been caused by an asteroid impact.

Alexis Rodriguez, a researcher at the Planetary Science Institute and lead author of the study, said in an email to Gizmodo;

‘The simulation clearly shows that the megatsunami has an initial height of about 250 meters. In addition, our modeling reveals some behaviors of the megatsunami that are very different from what we are used to imagining.

Rodriguez’s team studied maps of the Martian surface and found the large crater called ‘Pohl’. Based on Pohl’s location on earlier rocks, the team believes that the crater formed about 3.4 billion years ago, shortly after the first signs of life as we know it appeared on Earth.

According to the research team’s models, the impact of the asteroid’s impact may have caused material from the seafloor to be exposed and carried by the current.


The impact could potentially release 500,000 megatons to 13 million megatons of TNT worth of energy.

‘The next step is to propose a landing site to investigate these deposits in detail to understand the evolution of the ocean and its potential habitability,’ Rodriguez said;

‘First, we will need a detailed geological map of the area to reconstruct the stratigraphy. Then we need to link the surface modification history to specific processes through numerical modeling and analog studies, including identifying possible mud volcanoes and glacial landforms.


Both investigations serve a noble purpose. But a new Mars mission may take some time. NASA’s next target is Venus. The space agency is preparing to scrutinize the planet with the DAVINCI+ and Veritas missions.

Apart from the Mars Sample Return Mission, which will take rock samples currently being mined by the Perseverance rover at the western end of Mars’ Jezero Crater, there is no mission that will land on Mars in the near future.

Struggling with budget problems, NASA is either postponing or canceling missions. Therefore, it remains unclear when exactly the agency will be able to turn its attention to Pohl crater. We will also lose one of our best interrogators in the Martian interior with the departure of InSight, which is entering the final stretch of its mission.



The ancient idea tries to provide the most accurate information to its readers in all the content it publishes.