Eden On Mars
In 1836, Charles Darwin found an island deep in the South Atlantic, almost mid-way between Africa and South America. He named it "Ascension," and used science to quickly turn it from a volcanic wasteland into a tropical "cloud forest."
Darwin commissioned ships to bring a variety of plants and trees to the landscape to capture the rain, minimizing evaporation to enrich the soils, and by the late 1870s, his own personal "Garden of Eden" was thriving.
Dr. Dave Wilkinson, an ecologist at John Moores University, believes this artificial ecosystem was the first venture in terraforming, and the study could lead to colonization on equally barren landscapes on stable planets like Mars.
Wilkinson advocates the possibility that "...we can build a fully functioning ecosystem through a series of chance accidents or trial and error," encouraging scientists to focus less on logistics, and more on allowing life to "find its own way."Tweet