NASA Extra Terrestrial Life Announcement: Oddsmakers Get It Wrong

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NASA Extra Terrestrial Life

NASA had heavily promoted its Thursday “major new discovery announcement” all week leading up to the 1 pm EST press conference, prompting many to believe the National Aeronautics and Space Administration might declare there is life in outer space, or perhaps little green men had been spotted circling the Earth in flying saucers.

It was not to be however. 

Instead, we learned that NASA discovered a remarkable quality in a bacterium growing quietly in California's Mono Lake that could subsist on arsenic, which has long been considered deadly.

Throughout the decades, school children were taught early that six compounds were necessary in order to sustain life: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur.  Now add arsenic.

Needless-to-say, as of Thursday morning, the online oddsmakers at were not taking bets on whether NASA would proclaim the importance of arsenic.  Instead, had as potential favorites:  NASA discovers a life form on Mars, proof of space crafts hovering over and landing on planet Earth, and confirmation of Area 51’s role in studying alien life forms. 

With NASA’s tease about "an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life”, is it any wonder that oddsmakers – and the general public as a whole – expected to see ET paraded around by officials of the space agency?

- Payton O’Brien, Senior Editor

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