Silica is a rock-forming chemical that is one of the most abundant minerals present here on Earth. It is better known as 'quartz.'  But in a recent discovery, NASA'S roaming robot machine Curiosity discovers an enormous amount of it is hidden under the land surface of Mars.

In a recent article released to the media, NASA revealed that its Mars rover found high concentrations of silica after drilling on the surface of Mars. Unlike the previous findings that the entire Martian surface is colored red due to all the volcanic ashes and residues that surround the planet, what's underneath is actually color blue. 

The team associated with the discovery said that there are different places on Mars that deposit various amounts of silica. And the greatest concentration percentage that they got came from Mount Sharp. The discovery has completely taken place after the roving machine drilled into a rock called "Buckskin" to look for a chemical called tridymite. Curiosity then used its laser to read the silica level on the rock -- only to find out that it contains high silica level. This odd finding prompted the team to order the Curiosity rover to trace its path in search for a much bigger source.

According to scientist Jens Frydenvang, the explanation for the presence of such chemical as silica in the area only indicates water activity. He also added that here on Earth, silica is associated with places that give a massive support for life.

Meanwhile, Albert Yen, a Curiosity team member backed up Frydenvang's claims by explaining that in order for silica to be present in an environment, water must be a part of the process. He also found the discovery a little puzzling since it only gives them two possible instances. The first one is that water was once present and the silica they found were left behind when it dried out. The other one is someone or something must have brought it there from somewhere else. 

The discovery of silica in Mars is part of the study of various scientists and researchers about the past of the Red Planet and whether it is able to provide support for life.