"This is truly astonishing," said Dr. Sam Venerri, NASA Chief Scientist, "Although water has been known to exist in Massachusetts for some time, at least in the form of ice, we have long thought that the cold conditions and long periods of darkness would not support life." The axial tilt of Massachusetts drastically diminishes the direct sunlight it receives, and temperatures can drop as low as -12°C. Severe storms, called 'noreasters' by scientists, can bring hurricane-force winds and flooding.
Dr. Venerri said that the discovery has broad implications for biological research. "The bacteria we discovered are extremophiles by definition, but they are surprisingly similar to life as we know it. They have DNA, ribosomes, cytoplasm; all these basic building blocks are hardier than we thought. Studying how they survive in this new environment will help us understand the life in our own backyard. Many have said that colonizing Massachusetts is an impossible dream because of its lack of useful mineral resources and the cold, but I believe that a permanent colony of perhaps a dozen scientists is possible in a decade's time."
Artist's rendition of the harsh conditions Massachusetts astronauts may face.
As for the existence of intelligent life, Dr. Venerri says that it is too early to do anything but speculate. "But if you want my opinion," he joked, "nothing worthy of being called 'intelligent' would want to live there."
(This has been another test of the End of September automatic crossposter. You can read it there.)