ALIEN life could exist on Mars just below the surface where melting ice mixes with salty permafrost, scientists believe.
The conditions are similar to Antarctica, where strange shrimps and swimming sea cucumbers have been found.
Researchers were alerted to the phenomenon after observing huge 225mph landslides on the Red Planet’s surface.
Dr Janice Bishop, of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute, in California, said: “I am excited about the prospect of microscale liquid water on Mars in near-surface environments where ice and salts are present.
“This could revolutionise our perspective on habitability just below the surface on Mars today.”
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The findings are based on images captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera – the most powerful sent to another planet.
They show RSL on sun-facing slopes over time – and were confirmed by a computer model, lab experiments and previous observations.
The same phenomenon has been seen in similar environments on Earth such as the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, the Dead Sea in Israel and the Atacama Desert in Chile.
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