Broadcast 14 November 2006.
Clouds of alien life forms are sweeping through outer space and infecting planets with life – it may not be as far-fetched as it sounds.
The idea that life on Earth came from another planet has been around as a modern scientific theory since the 1960s when it was proposed by Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe. At the time they were ridiculed for their idea – known as panspermia. But now, with growing evidence, it’s back in vogue and even being studied by NASA.
We meet the scientists on a mission to get to the bottom of the beginnings of life on Earth – from the team in Texas who are lovingly building a robotic submarine called DEPTHX to explore a moon of Jupiter, to Southern India where they are investigating a mysterious red rain which fell for two months in 2001.
According to local scientist Godfrey Louis, the rain contains biological cells unlike any he had seen before – with no DNA and the ability to replicate at 300°C. Louis has come to the conclusion that the cells are extra-terrestrial in origin. Could all this really be proof that We are the aliens?