Earthworms can live and reproduce in Martian soil

After the onboard chemical laboratory of the Curiosity rover examined in detail the composition of the Martian soil-regolith, scientists on Earth picked up the closest analogue to it. It turned out to be a volcanic rock from the Hawaiian Islands - now biologists and chemists have plenty of material for research. And they managed to surpass the successes of the hero of the movie "The Martian".

Crushed volcanic rock became an imitation of Martian soil, where various types of organic matter began to be added in order to obtain an analogue of fertile soil. The best result was shown by the combination of a suspension of pig manure and freshly cut grass. So far, scientists have successfully grown a salad on this simulator, but they say that Martian potatoes will not be the case.

The most interesting thing is that earthworms have taken root perfectly in the fertilized simulator of the Martian soil. They are the key to agriculture, these invertebrates utilize dead organic matter and release nitrogen and phosphorus, the basis of fertilizers. Plus, they mix the soil during their movements, which increases its humidity and air saturation.

In the presence of live worms, you can only limit yourself to a suspension of feces and water, so that the Martian regolith becomes a distant semblance of chernozem. Scientists experienced a real triumph when, at the end of the experiment, they found two young worms in the simulator. If life itself began to reproduce in such conditions, the agriculture of the Red Planet has great prospects!