Is the Coronavirus the first wave of a biological extraterrestrial invasion of Earth – a real-life The Andromeda Strain? It sounds pretty damn unlikely to me, but then again, I’m not Cambridge PhD mathematician, astronomer and astrobiologist Dr. Chandra Wickramasinghe. He’s claiming the COVID-19 virus, which is currently on the tipping point of becoming a global pandemic, may have been caused by a meteorite hitting China back in October.
Here’s his perspective on the virus’ origins:
“The sudden outbreak of a new coronavirus is very likely to have a space connection, the strong localisation of the virus within China is the most remarkable aspect of the disease. In October last year a fragment of a comet exploded in a brief flash in North East China. We think it probable that this contained embedded within it a monoculture of infective 2019-nCoV virus particles that survived in the interior of the incandescent meteor.
We consider the seemingly outrageous possibility that hundreds of trillions of infective viral particles were then released embedded in the form of fine carbonaceous dust. We believe infectious agents are prevalent in space, carried on comets, and can fall towards Earth through the troposphere. These, we think, can and have in the past gone on to bring about human disease epidemics.”
This isn’t Dr. Wickramasinghe’s first time arguing that a virus has its origins in the stars, either. He’s previously claimed that the 1918 flu epidemic, some types of polio, Mad Cow Disease and SARS came to Earth as part of meteorites or in clouds of comet dust. It should also be said that Dr. Wickramasinghe’s theories have been almost totally dismissed by the wider scientific community.
Back when he was arguing that SARS was from space, a rival expert pointed out that:
“SARS is a coronavirus. No such virus–or for that matter any RNA virus–unlike bacteria, is known to be resistant to the kind of radiation present in space.”
Of course, Dr. Wickramasinghe’s theory is very similar to the plot of the 1971 movie and 2008 miniseries The Andromeda Strain, both based on the 1969 novel by Michael Crichton. That ends with scientists concluding they need to nuke the virus into submission (with our hero desperate to stop it). We can only hope that COVID-19 isn’t so resilient as to warrant that.
In the meantime, maybe avoid large crowds, wash your hands frequently and try not to touch your face. And if you do get placed in quarantine, kill some time by checking out The Andromeda Strain. It’s a pretty cool movie.