As we continue to find more and more planets outside of the solar system, we're learning more and more about the formation of planets and how many out there are similar to Earth at least in size and distance from their stars, according to a Washington Post report. We've also sent probes to distant worlds and combed the surface of Mars for clues. And yet, there's been no luck. Not even a single microbe. Have we just not looked far enough? The universe is quite vast, after all -- we've barely scratched the surface of a tiny part of our own galaxy, let along inspected all the myriad galaxies out there.
But a new study published in the journal Astrobiology suggests that any life that existed in our neighborhood has come and gone.
The study suggests that life typically failed to last past infancy because it is so fragile, and we were one of the very few to have actually stuck around long enough to advance as long as we have. Other planets may have had short blips of time where there was microbial life, but it quickly died out before it could turn into more complex organisms.