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Scientists Find Evidence of Winemaking on Mars

A large Martian meteorite that landed in Antarctica was retrieved last month, and scientists believe that it contains evidence of winemaking on Mars. Known as GYS 10583, the Martian rock revealed structures resembling the fossilized remains of a crude, ancient pottery constructed from Martian soil, holding traces of a chemical substance that points to wine.

While it's well known that about a third of the surface of Mars contains shallow ground ice, providing the water that would have been required for winemaking to be possible millions of years ago, scientists were not prepared for the idea of that water being used to grow grapes. And who, for that matter, was growing the grapes? "It was definitely an unexpected discovery," said research geologist Leah Matthews of the US Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Ariz., who led the study. "We're not yet sure what it means in terms of evidence for life on Mars."

The meteorite is believed to have come from a latitude on Mars that is the equivalent of Mendoza in South America. Whether the Martian wine was as robust as an Argentinean Cabernet can only be speculated upon, however, as scientists continue to mine the secrets of GYS 10583 and theorize on what they could mean.