Credit: Marta Flisykowska

How could long-term habitation of Mars impact our bodies?

“I propose a futuristic vision of how our noses could look if we lived on Mars,” says Marta Flisykowska of the Academy of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design Faculty in Gdańsk, Poland.

Based on the “Who nose” project, Flisykowska has published an intriguing paper — Application of Incremental Technologies in Considerations of Transhumanist Aesthetics – within the pages of the Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts.

Tip of the iceberg

Let’s face facts.

Mars is not a hospitable planet: It’s a lot cooler than Earth; the atmosphere on Mars is very thin; the amount of solar energy entering its upper atmosphere is half of that entering Earth’s upper; atmosphere; the local pressure of carbon dioxide on the surface is 52 times higher than on Earth – and then there’s that different gravity attraction due to the size of the Mars.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of problems that we will have to deal with if we want to create a habitat on Mars and realistically think about its colonization or a regular life there,” Flisykowska points out.

Credit: Marta Flisykowska

New physical conditions

“The human body will have to change if we are to adapt to new physical conditions. Are these the new challenges for medicine or a direction of evolution? Undoubtedly, environmental conditions affect the body and in the course of time, in line with the law of evolution, adapting to changes is inevitable,” Flisykowska says.

The “Who nose” project refers to the possibilities of 3D printing and plastic surgery in the context of challenges that we will all face, Flisykowska concludes. “It does not mean that people will grow such noses in an evolutionary way on Mars.”

Nosing around

But a nosey look at our own noses here on Earth, here are some face facts:

  • The structure of the nose enables to warm up or cool down air adjusting it to the body temperature before it reaches the lungs;
  • The nose also acts as a filter so that it catches small particles preventing them from reaching the lungs;
  • The nose moisturizes air adding humidity to pre-vent the respiratory tract from drying;
  • It strengthens and impacts one’s voice;
  • It supports the sense of smell;
  • It can attract and impact the biology of attraction

Aesthetic considerations

At this stage of “medical development”, Flisykowska says, humankind introduces many changes into our individual bodies, be they artificial eyes, mechanical prostheses, bypasses etc.

Credit: Bob Sauls – XP4D/Explore Mars, Inc. (used with permission)


“Both in literature and in pop culture, the image of extra-terrestrial creatures often extended to the point of kitsch,” Flisykowska notes. “However, in the context of aesthetic considerations it is worth recalling that the creators of fairy-tale creatures and humanoid characters based their creations on assumptions that concerned the environment they existed in.”

For a copy of this informative and speculative paper, go to:

Also, go to this video at:


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