Scientists have found a new virus thought to be the biggest ever seen on Earth.
The virus, dubbed Pandoravirus, is one micrometre big - up to ten times the size of other viruses - and only six per cent of its genes resemble anything seen on Earth before.
This has led French researchers to believe the virus may have come from an ancient time or even another planet, such as Mars.
Pandoravirus lives underwater and was found off the coast of Chile and in a pond in Australia.
It is thought to have emerged from a new ancestral cellular type that no longer exists.
It is about one micrometre meaning it is big enough to be seen under a normal microscope.
The virus lacks the regular shape normally associated with viruses.
Its genetic code is twice the size of the Megavirus, the biggest virus previously found.
Only six per cent of its genes resemble genes seen before on Earth.
The giant virus is only found underwater and is not thought to pose a serious risk to humans.
However, the researchers, who published their findings in the journal Science, believe that the virus opens up a range of questions about the history of life on Earth. Continue reading via Mail Online...