Were Volcanoes the Origin of Life on Earth?

March 23, 2011

Volcanoes generate huge amounts of lightning during their eruptions.  They also produce a slew of chemicals that when mixed and struck with electrical charges produce the building blocks of life.  New analysis of an old series of experiments shows that even more compounds are created than was previously thought.

Other recent studies show that the lightning actually begins before the dust plume extends above the rim of the volcano and may be caused by disruption of the Earth’s electrical field.

If these theories pan out then the implications for life on other worlds would be to look at planets or satellites which have magnetic fields and have had high levels of volcanism in their history.

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