A green, glowing mass shaped like the top half of a skull has been discovered in Earth's stratosphere and is being hailed as the latest proof that aliens exist.
The luminous mass is thought to be a cluster of thousands of "virus particles" loaded with extra-terrestrial DNA - the code of life.
The mysterious object was discovered on the surface of a testing balloon sent 41km into the sky over India in the highest such experiment to date, reports Express. The harmless-looking blob is thought to be capable of "seeding" the planet with alien genetic material. Though it looks like a complete organic mass, deep analysis has revealed it to be "a cluster of minuscule potentially virulent particles," states the website report.
Professor Milton Wainwright, a researcher at the University of Sheffield and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, discovered this unique object. According to him, these are individual particles with the exact dimensions of viruses.
IBTimes UK got in touch with Wainwright with regards to this discovery and he shared an image of the "DNA-staining particle mass which was isolated at 41km - that is four times the height of a cruising jumbo jet." Check it out below:
According to Wainwright, the nature of experiments which led to this discovery, suggest that it could not have come from Earth.
"The organisms appear on the sampler without any contaminating pollen or grass particles. X-ray analysis (EDX) shows that the particles we collect are not incoming cosmic dust or upcoming volcanic dust but are organic, i.e. biological organisms." Treatment with the substance DAPI - which stains genetic matter green - showed it to be rich in DNA.
Giving a more detailed analysis of this unique particle mass, Wainwright told Express, "What we are seeing is a mass of extremely small particles, much smaller than bacteria and more like viruses clustered together."
"They are forming some kind of cohesive mass that resembles the top half of a skull," he added.
The find comes just weeks after a similar 'seed particle', also thought to be some sort of infective agent, was discovered in space samples. Unlike the 'seed' particle discovered recently, which was wrapped in a spherical titanium coating, this new green mass has no casing leaving its potentially pathogenic contents unrestricted.
However, Wainwright told Express it was most likely sealed in an ice capsule and carried on a comet before its descent towards Earth. "There is no capsule, we believe originally it could have been coated in ice and carried on a comet. The ice melted as it drew closer to Earth leaving the contents [exposed]".
Although its purpose or origin is uncertain, Wainwright said the intriguing particle is another piece in the jigsaw of the mystery of where life began. He said the find supports the idea of panspermia - the theory that 'seeds' of life exist throughout the universe and are continually falling unnoticed to earth.
"We believe that we have demonstrated, beyond doubt, that life is continually coming to Earth from space," Wainwright stated in an email to IBTimes UK.
"We suggest that life did not originate on this planet from the chemical building blocks forming on Earth or coming from space. Instead, life on Earth originated from space and continues to arrive from this source. NASA has stated that it expects to find life in space in the next 20 years. We believe that life has already been shown to exist beyond the Earth."
Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, director of the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham in England, who was involved in the find agreed it is further proof of alien life.
He said: "The biological mass is made up of extremely small so called 'nano-forms'. The excitement over this research is that some of the DNA-rich particles are six times bigger than the size of particles which physics currently tells us can travel up from Earth."