The Lightning-Scarred Planet Mars

2010 ,    »  -   26 Comments
Ratings: 7.33/10 from 70 users.

Few planets have been the subject of more intense study than Mars. In spite of these efforts, there is much about our planetary neighbor that remains elusive to us. How, for instance, can we logically account for the volume and depth of various craters and ridges that scar the surface of Mars? So begins the journey of The Lightning-Scarred Planet Mars (second episode from the Symbols of an Alien Sky), a riveting dissection of each prominent formation present on the planet's surface, and theories which propose answers for how they originated.

Once considered a barren wasteland void of any measure of activity, our understanding of the planet Mars has evolved significantly over time. Yet, modern cosmology frequently falls back on antiquated theories when trying to explain the planet's endless grooves, indentations, carvings and gouges. Experts have long held that these imperfections resulted from interactions with assorted asteroids and comets over the course of millions of years. But the specificity of many of these craters - including their oftentimes peculiar shapes, sizes and locations - exclude such a possibility.

As in the first episode of the series, connections are made between our present search for answers and the beliefs of our ancient ancestors who were likely presented with a much more volatile and active celestial landscape. They interpreted these phenomena as the workings of all-powerful gods to whom they regarded with awe-struck reverence. While this thinking may be considered intensely naïve to the scientific culture of today, it could still represent a powerful key to reaching the plausible explanations which continue to mystify us.

Picking up cues from these ancient ancestors, The Lightning-Scarred Planet Mars explores the possibility that this "scarring" could only have been the product of interplanetary electrical discharge, the cosmic thunderbolts of sorts that occur when planets near orbital collision. Authoritatively narrated by comparative mythologist David Talbott, the film presents hypothesis supporting the veracity of this claim, including a series of laboratory tests that supposedly preclude any other conclusions.

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26 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Philio

    Thanks TDF, all y'all. That was an enjoyable break from the tax season tedium but not half as much fun as the comments that will follow.

  2. sharpstuff
  3. sharpstuff

    Another excellent video from the Thunderbolts series.

  4. Altavista
  5. Altavista

    Great documentary. Doesn't really belong in the 'mystery' section though. It's more about the scientific approach. The third documentary in that series, i.e. "The Electric Comet" is even more intriguing. Highly recommend exploring those concepts.

  6. pwndecaf
  7. pwndecaf

    The electric universe theory has not been well received to date.

  8. Guest
  9. Guest

    Not only does Mars have the biggest canyons in the solar system but also the biggest volcanoes. Contrary to what is said in the document , geologists do have a theory :

    "Geologists think Valles Marineris began to open along geological faults about 3.5 billion years ago."

    The 3 giant volcanoes hundreds of kilometers across can clearly be seen on images in the document to the West of Valles Marineris.

  10. David B. Lowry
  11. David B. Lowry

    This theory is unlikely to attract particle physics oriented viewers, but likely to be more favorably received by electrical engineers and plasma physics majors. More or less built in are the competing cosmologies of the Big Bang, championed by many, probably most, astronomers, and Plasma Cosmology, championed mostly by Electrical Engineers, and Plasma Physics majors. The IEEE has a section for Plasma Cosmology. They have experience seeing how electricity acts, and what it looks like when it does, and what the results will look like.

  12. jimmy
  13. jimmy

    Now we need to find where the death star is hidding

  14. Wintermute
  15. Wintermute

    Interesting. Given that planetary bodies also have varying degrees of magnetic fields around them, and that all charged bodies give off an electromagnetic flux, a passing planetary body, if indeed viewed as a electromagnetically charged body, could very well produce large enough currents to pass between it and Mars. Despite having a weak magnetic field, alot of the surface of Mars is covered with iron oxide (used in the production of storage media such as computer disks and tapes) which is both conductive to electricity AND is ferromagnetic. Maybe it was from a planet which forms the asteroid belt now. I'd be open to see how this theory develops over time.

  16. awful_truth
  17. awful_truth

    Wow, talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. I for one am always open to new ideas, but this one needs work. A good place to start would be to answer why the earth has an electromagnetic field, and Mars does not. It is my opinion that Earth's moon (1/4 it's size) keeps the Earth's inner core moving, thus sustaining it's field, (gravitational kneading) while the moons of Mars are to small to do this. This would also explain why volcanism on Earth is spread out, and continuous, while Mars are few in number, located together, creating much larger volcanos, as it cooled and lost it's electromagnetic field.
    Since electromagnetism is far more powerful than gravitation at the atomic scale, it is easily plausible that it must play a larger role in the solar system than traditional science would have us believe.
    I don't even mind the idea of giving credence to mythological history as credible yet misunderstood writings, however, I find it difficult to believe these astronomical observations, and their events were occurring, and recorded in the time of early man. (considering the age of the planets)
    Thus, I can only conclude that scientific understanding is very young, and not nearly as secure in it's certitude, as scientists, and it's hard core supporters would have us believe. Ultimately, if we haven't wiped ourselves out (or the planet) a 1000 years from now, those who remain will probably laugh at today's understanding of what we think we know about the true nature of the solar system, and the universe it inhabits.
    P.S: This documentary is still quite interesting, posing good questions, new ideas, and is worth checking out!

  18. Larry Dean Moore
  19. Larry Dean Moore

    Some say Mars used to have a stronger magnetosphere. I want to watch part 2. Maybe they get in to where all this electricity might have come from.

  20. Larry Dean Moore
  21. Larry Dean Moore

    Neither was the theory that Earth is round.. but hey

  22. pwndecaf
  23. pwndecaf

    Well, there it is then.

  24. pwndecaf
  25. pwndecaf

    I like to take the side of scientists on these matters since I am ignorant on the science. One can have an opinion on science but it doesn't make one correct, and that goes for me, too. So, I go with peer reviewed science as a safer bet.

    This Electric Universe (EU) has been labeled akin to Intelligent Design (ID) with explanations of observance with no math to back it up. It sounds good and apparently matches stories from the past. All powerful gods are not my idea of science, nor a reasonable path to discovery.

    It would be nice to get free energy from the sky, but I haven't seen much progress on it since Tesla brought it up. It seems the electric sun fails on many levels. Maybe we need a longer cord?

  26. Gordon Giroux
  27. Gordon Giroux

    i have to agree with this, there is just no way crater hits would make chains like that, three of four in a row sure but not 20 or 30. mars must have drifted close to another planet and got zapped


    They would make chains if the impactor breaks up in the atmosphere.

  30. Gordon Giroux
  31. Gordon Giroux

    if that were the case then the moon would have them too, the moon has none of these, the asteroid would have to break apart then align its fragments into a perfect line to achieve a line of crators, there is no way that would happen over and over all over the planet

  32. Growhydro
  33. Growhydro

    the moon never had an atmosphere

  34. Chris
  35. Chris

    its orbiting Saturn, its called Mimas. ;)

  36. bdoon
  37. bdoon

    The only problem with peer-reviewed science is that ultimately, with new perspectives, they are almost all wrong and at best incomplete. If you look at the history of science you will know this is a correct statement. The number of scientists who actually made correct hypothesis over the centuries ( or millennium) represent an incredibly small percent and these were almost always incomplete theories. While it is worse in some disciplines than others, published scientists seldom " veer off the road map+ and if they do it usually is in a small way.

  38. pwndecaf
  39. pwndecaf

    Science is always advancing as more things are proved or disproved. That is the very essence of science - it is always being corrected as understanding is improved. Do you have anything better or are you agreeing with the electric universe view?

  40. bdoon
  41. bdoon

    Neither alternative is a must.

    Science is wrong must more than right. I have worked in lab environments where numbers deemed correct today are used to advance policies, programs and projects. 10 years later those numbers are found to be wrong; perhaps not by an order of magnitude but by as much as 100% in some cases. Methodologies deemed faultless are found a decade later to be full of problems if not downright counter-productive. My problem is with the arrogance of scientists and engineers who find it impossible to admit error, fault or try to look "outside the box" now and then. History teaches us that those who look beyond the paradigm limits are thought to be mad or absurd but decades, centuries or millennium later are found to have been moving in the right direction. Science is just like religion in that respect. It is just a new form of religion.

  42. pwndecaf
  43. pwndecaf

    It seems that this theory cannot explain other aspects of physics with their version. Until you can fit one theory with another, it is a hypotheses with a problem. That could happen, but doesn't seem likely in this case. They have a long row to hoe to make it fit with the entire universe. This seems more like similarities with observable electrical occurrences than repeatability and consistency with science that fits the rest of the universe.

    To say science is a religion is preposterous. There is no dogma, only predictability and repeatability and willingness to improve as data becomes available.

    If this hypothesis win out, it will be because of the scientific method making it so. My bet is they will lose out when it doesn't fit. I don't think I will live long enough to collect, but that is where my "money" is.

  44. Pete
  45. Pete

    Maybe Mars is the Dead Star...;)

  46. Bart
  47. Bart

    right when Mars' core cools to a certain point, where it dies, and Mars' magnetic field ceases, a residual static charge could go off, one that has been saved up for a billion years or so. It's possible, or worth contemplating anyway.

  48. Bill Webb
  49. Bill Webb

    This theory is so credible. It must have happened so long ago that the exact sequence of events may never be discovered. We cannot run the Universe in reverse to exactly prove all past events. Life probably didn't even exist at the time on Earth so there would be no record we could refer to. Maybe we'll find a CD on Mars?

  50. Damien Olive
  51. Damien Olive

    Fascinating second episode, must see!

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