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Nearly four million square miles of the surface of Mars are covered with glass - and the discovery could be evidence that the Red Planet once harboured life.
One of the most popular theories of how life on Earth formed is that undersea volcanic vents created a chemical 'soup' where the first life forms evolved.
Mars is covered in volcanic glass - direct evidence that water and hot magma once interacted on the Red Planet.
These interactions that could create the perfect environments for microbial life,' says Astrobiology Magazine, which reported the research.
The glass on the surface could be a sign of water beneath the surface - or of long-preserved signatures of vanished life forms.
By comparison with the extensive glass-rich dune fields and sand sheets of Iceland, we propose an explosive volcanic origin for these glass-rich sediments.