The luminous mass is thought to be a cluster of thousands of “virus” particles loaded with extra-terrestrial DNA.Found on a sampling device sent into the stratosphere above India, the harmless-looking blob is thought to be capable of “seeding” the planet with alien genetic material.Scientists have released the image exclusively to the Daily Express as they converge to discuss the potentially historic and life-altering implications of the find.Though it looks like a complete organic particle shaped like the top half of a skull, deep analysis has revealed it to be a cluster of minuscule potentially virulent particles.Its finder, Milton Wainwright, a researcher at the University of Sheffield, said these are individual particles with the exact dimensions of viruses.
The find comes just weeks after a similar “seed particle” also thought to be some sort of infective agent was discovered in space samples.
It gives further weight to theories that not only are we not alone in the universe, but that aliens may be silently populating Earth.
Unlike the “seed” particle discovered recently, which was wrapped in a spherical titanium coating, the skull has no casing leaving its potentially pathogenic contents unrestricted.Professor Wainwright said it was most likely sealed in an ice capsule carried on a comet before its descent towards Earth.He said: “When this image came up on the screen I simply could not believe my eyes, never in our wildest dreams when we started out did we think we would discover things like this.“What we are seeing is a mass of extremely small particles, much smaller than bacteria and more like viruses clustered together.“They are forming some kind of cohesive mass that resembles the top half of a skull.”
He said the nature of the experiments which captured the particle means it could not have come from Earth.
It contain any traces of pollen, skin or human dandruff meaning its only source has to be extra-terrestrial, he insists.
Although its purpose or origin is uncertain, Professor Wainwright said the sinister-looking particle is another piece in the jigsaw of the mystery of where life began.He said the find supports the idea of panspermia – the theory that “seeds” of life exist throughout the universe and are continually falling unnoticed to earth.“What we do know for sure is that this object is rich in DNA and did not come from Earth,” he said.“It is very different to any other particle we have found in that it seems to be a cluster of individual organisms.“There is also no capsule, we believe originally it could have been coated in ice and carried on a comet.
“The ice melted as it drew closer to Earth leaving the contents.
“There is no pollen, skin or any other DNA-containing substance in this find which could have come from Earth yet it is entirely made up of DNA.
“We have no idea what this particle is.”
The particle was discovered on the surface of a testing balloon sent 25 miles into the sky over India in the highest such experiment to date.
Treatment with the substance DAPI, which stains genetic matter green, showed it to be rich in DNA – the code of life.
Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham in England, who was involved in the find agreed it is further proof of alien life.
He said: “The biological mass is made up of extremely small so called “nano-forms”.
“The excitement over this research is that some of the DNA-rich particles are six times bigger than the size of particles which physics currently tells us can travel up from Earth.
“The fact that no pollen and grass was found inside our sampler alongside the DNA masses, means that they could not have been carried up from Earth.”
Professor Wainwright added: “These DNA masses are coming into the stratosphere from space.
“This is a conclusion that fits in with the team” recent findings showing unusual organisms migrating from space to this region.
“When this recent finding, plus our other results, published over the last two years, are taken as one we remain confident that life forms are continually entering the stratosphere from space.”