But the real-life Venus is no Eden -- it's blanketed by clouds of sulfuric acid (ouch!) with temperatures well above 800 degrees F. The surface of Venus is both dark and hot -- not too different from classical conceptions of hell. And did I forget to mention the atmospheric pressure? It's almost 100 times higher than the Earth's.
|A typical Venusian, as portrayed on The Twilight Zone|
These NASA researchers used computer climate models to extrapolate backwards a billion or so years. Their results suggest that Venus could have been habitable as recently as 700 million years ago, if it had a shallow ocean on its surface.
But wait, there's more! Annabel Cartwright (any relation to Angela Cartwright?) from Cardiff University took the argument one step further in this paper. She suggested that life might have originated on an early, habitable Venus and was then transported to Earth on asteroids, resulting in the "explosion" of biodiversity during the Cambrian period. So maybe we are all Venusians after all.
|The Three Stooges visited Venus in the late 1950s|