If bacteria can survive in space and can hitch rides on meteorites, and meteorites regularly travel here from Mars and elsewhere, we could all be martians.
Yes, it's that simple.
Last month, Chuck and Josh -- self-proclaimed expert researchers and occasional beer drinkers -- jumped on late 1800s scientist Svante Arrhenius' theory that life can and has been carried from planet to planet by the transport of microbes. Sure, the topic has been covered before, but Chuck and Josh aren't here to bore you with the dull details.
"[Arrhenius' theory is that] seed-bearing meteorites, these meteorites that had life buried within them -- or at the very least, sitting on the surface -- found their way to earth," Bryant said on the podcast. "That's how it all started."
And, with a little help from centuries of scientific research, the theory became entirely possible.
The two argue that space-traveling bacteria needs to withstand intense heat and large spans of time -- and they do.
Many meteorites don't reach an internal temperature of more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, even under intense heat from solar radiation and speedy travel. A lot of bacteria thrive at that temperature, the researchers maintain.
But couldn't some meteorites spend millions upon millions of years in space before they make their descent to the earth's surface? Yes, but to a speck of bacteria that's just a blink of an eye. For example:
"[Scientist] Russell Vreeland of Westchester University in Pennsylvania extracted bacteria from a 250-million-year-old salt crystal. Living bacteria," Bryant said.
Added Clark, "So bacteria can survive in space, it could possibly hitch a ride on a rock and we know that plenty of rocks come from Mars ... It's possible that we are, in our origin, martians."
These two characters are taking their hard-nosed research skills from iTunes podcast fame to TV in January, they announced at New York Comic Con over the weekend.
Bryant and Clark's Science Channel show, "Stuff You Should Know," is like an episode of "The Office" with the factoids of "Mythbusters." It's got a fictional plot with real-life science, and if the trailer is any indication, it's going to be hilarious (video below).
"When you finish watching an episode, yeah you're entertained and it's funny," Clark told HuffPost Weird News. "But just like when you walk away from the podcast, you learn five or 10 things you didn't know."