Is the Dragon Particle Proof That We’re Actually Aliens?
In 2013, an incredible discovery was made by British scientist, Milton Wainwright and his maverick astrobiology team from the University of Sheffield and the University of Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology. The team sent a balloon into the planet’s stratosphere, 14 to 17 miles from the Earth’s surface, to collect material. This small mission proved quite successful as they discovered what has now been dubbed “the dragon particle.” Wainwright didn’t name this particle for his love of Game of Thrones but rather because this 10-micron carbon and oxygen based organism looks like a bit like a piece of a dragon’s skull (kind of reminds me of Falcor). “Dragon’s skull” is a pretty awesome phrase so let me restate the real jaw-dropping point of that last sentence: he found a carbon and oxygen-based organism (a.k.a. life)…in space. While space dragons would be a terrifyingly awesome way to die, Wainwright’s discovery offers to shed more light on life than death. He even draws some lines between his findings and a theory that humans may very well be extraterrestrial in origin. So, will history books need to be rewritten to fit the twist of a Twilight Zone episode?
In case you’re unfamiliar with the extraterrestrial human theory, it basically states that humans evolved from organisms that lived in and on meteors that were drifting through space just minding their own business before a hulking rock called earth (though I doubt anyone was calling it that then) got in the way. These meteors crashed into earth, one thing led to another, and now…humans. Wainwright believes biological organisms are constantly raining down from space, citing that no soil, volcanic dust, pollution, pollen, or grass particles were found with the sample of space dust that included the dragon particle. “Unless a means of lifting them from Earth exists which selectively sieves them out from other Earth-derived debris then they must be incoming from space,” he points out, nipping that right in the bud.
It just isn’t a space story without Russians, so naturally a Russian team of astronauts delivered to the researchers some scrapings from one of their space stations that revealed sea plankton and other micro-organisms living just fine in the unforgiving vaccum. Critics were quick to argue that the plankton had obviously contaminated the space station prior to its leaving our atmosphere or that ocean wind carried the organisms into contact with the station. Others have shot back that such a feat is scientifically impossible and that the most rational explanation is that the organisms reached the space station from somewhere in space. As you might expect, Wainwright believes these organisms are extraterrestrial in origin, pointing out that the space station is 200 miles from earth, much too far of a distance to be reached by sea plankton caught on drafty winds.
While it’s already been established that micro-organisms such as plankton can survive in space, the findings of the Russian cosmonauts mark the first time that organisms of such complexity were discovered in space. One of Wainwright’s colleagues, Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, mentions that falling meteorites have been discovered housing algae particles. While the specimens collected by the Russian cosmonauts and the dragon particle examined by Professor Wainwright and his team probably can’t offer enough evidence to conclude without a doubt that human life has its origins in an extraterrestrial source, these findings at least pose important questions worthy of investigation.