When did the conditions for life arise? The issue always kicked up controversy and died out unsettled. To add to the existing controversy, a new research suggests that the continents formed much earlier than it was previously thought. Astronauts in Earth’s orbit spotted a jigsaw puzzle of continents rising from vast oceans, the conditions ripe for supporting life – they claim. Harrison and his colleagues recently analyzed ancient minerals called zircons found deep in the Australian outback. They are the oldest known rocks on Earth.
“If you’d come in a spacecraft 4.4 billion years ago, Earth would have looked a lot like it does today,” said Mark Harrison, a geologist at the Australian National University in Canberra. Though the research doesn’t say life existed 4.4 billion years ago, ancient metals in the zircons suggest that Earth had all the conditions necessary to make the planet habitable then, within 200 million years of its formation, Harrison further added. The controversy on it is warming up. This finding is just the tip of the iceberg.