Links to the sources of the above images & some good informative reporting
can be found in the "Documentation" section at the end of this report
The Indian government sponsored initial research into this phenomena. The consensus initial conclusion reached was that the particulate in suspension in the rain water was producing the red color and in fact it is biological life in origin and not inorganic material. However, this did not get much world wide attention no doubt because the initial and conventional explanation was mostly that this living organism was likely lichen originating from the surrounding countryside.
That is until 2003. At that time Dr's. Godfrey Louis an Santhosh Kumar then physicists at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, Kerala posted their conclusions. This was that the biological cell material came from a comet that disintegrated over Kerala (explaining the thunderclap and flash of light) releasing the red particles into the atmosphere to fall to the ground in rain water.
That extraterrestrial origin concept was of course enough to crank up controversy but it didn't go very far because there was little supporting data and so it was of speculative interest mostly in certain areas of the science community. Then Dr's. Louis and Kumar subsequently published a paper titled "The Red Fain Phenomenon of Kerala and Its Possible Extraterrestrial Origin" in the July 4, 2006 journal Astrophysics and Space Science. This level of perceived legitimacy in conjunction with the extraterrestrial origin claim aspect caught the media's attention producing a lot of sensational popularized stories. If you've heard of this before, it is probably via this time period even though the occurrence itself was several years earlier.
Since then, subsequent analysis by Louis and Kumar indicates that the microorganism demonstrates the ability to consume and metabolize a wide range of both organic an inorganic materials giving it tremendous survival potential. Further, it also generates autofluoresence in multiple colors which is something that no known biological life on Earth is known to do. This evidence again leans in favor of the extraterrestrial origin.
However, it doesn't stop there. It appears tests confirm that this microorganism grows more active and will replicate itself at, ......get this, up around +300º C or +572º F and under tremendous pressures. That incredible high temperature is long after any known Earth based life form will have fried and died. Incredibly it appears that this organism is just getting into its comfort zone replicating and proliferating like this at such high temperatures. It appears that the cell replicates by developing one or more white or colorless offspring within its cell body and then when they turn a red or darker color (maturity?) they can extrude through the cell wall forming a new additional cell.
Not only that but the organism has been tested surviving down to –200º C or –328º F and immersed in liquid nitrogen without damage . Also add to that survival in very high pressure that Earth based life could not have survived. Obviously survival in such extreme temperatures and pressures quickly rules out the initial identification of this organism as a lichen of any known kind. It is also the same with the autoflouresence feature.
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