This post might sound very improbable, but it’s not a completely hypothetical idea. One day, it will certainly have a chance of happening. The idea is that we might “seed” life on another planet via a human corpse.
Imagine that an astronaut dies in space. Remember what happened to Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) in the film Gravity? The two spacewalking astronauts in that film become tangled in cords and, realizing that the cords will not support both of them, Matt detaches to save his partner. He drifts away.
We are talking seriously now about going to Mars. It is a long journey, and maybe a death occurs en route. If we had a burial at space, the corpse could be adrift for a decade or a thousand years. It might be pulled into the gravity of a planet. It might burn up in a star. But it might land on a planet.
The idea with a corpse seed is that it could deliver living microbes, viruses and bacteria that survive to a place and spark a genesis of some new life entirely.
We know that our body contains microbes that can survive long periods of time in stasis in cold, dry environments similar to space.
Of course, we are not talking about that corpse creating a human on the distant world, but life in some form. The three key factors appear to be what holds the corpse (a spacesuit or a spacecraft), the storage environment, and how long it travels to that planet (long-term exposure to radiation would hurt).
Corpses in a spacecraft that crashes into a planet and busts open spilling well-maintained corpses (perhaps not frozen, though freeze-dried bacteria can also survive) into a hospitable environment could do it.
Scientists say that a corpse without creatures (worms, beetles etc.) to speed up the decaying process, would provide fuel for many generations of bacteria, for thousands of years.
Scientists have said that life on Earth occurred because of an unlikely combination of perfect conditions. That body bag of amino acids, fats, proteins, carbohydrates and microbes existing in ideal conditions would be the spark.
What this “starter-pack of chemistry” might create as a lifeform is unknown, but it’s an interesting idea.