Most of Earth’s early life forms were around 3.95 billion years of age when asteroids and comets crashed on the planet every now and then. Scientists from Japan have gone to Canada, particularly in northern Labrador, where they found a stretch of remote land that contained samples of old rocks that existed billions of years back. In spite of some doubts regarding the dates, there were interesting finds that proved that there was life in a period of time when the Earth would not have been inhabitable.

The first eon of Earth’s history, the Hadean Eon, was a hostile period because of the extreme conditions of the environment, hence its hell-related name. There were not many rocks from this period, but the Earth had been bombarded with many rocks from space until it stopped 3.8 billion years ago. During the Hadean period, the moon had also been bombarded with rocks, which led to the craters and canyons we see today.

Researchers in Greenland had announced in September of 2017 that they have found stromatolites, creatures made of microbes that thrived in shallow seas, that were around 3.7 billion years old. A paper in the Nature Journal published in March of the same year made a claim that the oldest microfossil revealed that there could have been creatures that were alive from 3.8 billion to 4.3 billion years ago.

The current study was led by Tsuyoshi Komiya, a geologist from the University of Tokyo. When studying rock samples, they note the presence of biogenic graphite, which melded with the cells of living creatures, indicating that life was present. This was what led them to discover that some creatures were possibly alive around 3.95 billion years ago. Many were skeptical about the results due to how some ancient rocks would have been churned by saltwater taffy and have been mixed with a new living material that would cause difficulty for dating. The methodology was questioned because the researchers did not find it necessary to chip every piece of rock and date them. French geochemist Guillaume Caro called out the study for lacking the means to properly date the samples.

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