> Seth Underwood Stories: PH3 on Venus, Life on Venus, and Clickbaiting

PH3 on Venus, Life on Venus, and Clickbaiting


Composition and balance of the sunset, the crescent moon, the planet Venus and a Joshua Tree. A moment and view of stillness and beauty.
By Steven Wilcox
Source Unsplash
Unsplash License
 (Arrows and Circle added for emphasis)

Right now there's talk about life on Venus due to a recent discovery of PH3. Well when you look up the original paper on this discovery it clearly says, "This could be unknown photochemistry or geochemistry, or possibly life. Information is lacking—as an example, the photochemistry of
Venusian cloud droplets is almost completely unknown.

The study goes on to say, "Even if confirmed, we emphasize that the detection of PH3 is not robust evidence for life, only for anomalous and unexplained chemistry."

But once more, the mainstream media loves some clickbait. Don't we all in the internet business? Nothing says clickbait like life on another planet. It would be boring to say, "Scientists discover odd chemical signature on Venus." This would be more accurate, but as a headline wouldn't get that many clicks.

A while back I actually wrote about a future mission to Venus, and speculated on life there. I don't buy the life in the clouds model. It sounds cool, but I don't think it's practical for biological life with a one gravity world like Venus.

But who knows, maybe I'm wrong.