On This Day: Researchers claim to have found signs of Martian life in Antarctic meteorite

On August 6, 1996, NASA and Stanford researchers announce they have found signs of Martian life in a meteorite discovered 12 years earlier in Allan Hills, Antarctica, causing a worldwide sensation. But some viewed the announcement skeptically, and the Martian life connection was later debunked.

A NASA spokesman initially called the evidence of fossilized, one-celled organisms in the meteorite, called ALH 84001, “exciting, even compelling, but not conclusive.”

“I want everyone to understand that we are not talking about ‘little green men,’ ” he said, according to the Washington Post. “These are extremely small, single-cell creatures that somewhat resemble bacteria on Earth. There is no evidence or suggestion that any higher life form ever existed on Mars.”

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