New theory: Earth's longer days kick-started oxygen growth
August 1, 2021
Scientists have a new idea for how Earth got its oxygen: It's because the planet slowed down and days got longer.
A study published Monday proposes and puts to the test the theory that longer, continuous daylight kick-started weird bacteria into producing lots of oxygen, making most of life as we know it possible.
They dredged up gooey purple bacteria from a deep sinkhole in Lake Huron and tinkered with how much light it got in lab experiments. The more continuous light the smelly microbes got, the more oxygen they produced.
One of the great mysteries in science is just how Earth went from...