ELON Musk's plan to move mankind to Mars could end up with "Martian" children suffering an array of mutations such as "green" skin, brittle bones and poor eyesight.
The SpaceX mogul insists he will move to Mars and believes humans need to colonise our neighbouring planet to become a "multi-planet species".
However, experts warn that it's not just the perilous 140 million mile journey which would be dangerous - humans on Mars would endure the most brutal living conditions imaginable.
But it's the children of Martian settlers who would undergo the most drastic of changes.
It comes as SpaceX successfully launched four astronauts to the International Space Station as part of the Crew-3 mission.
According to Rice University biologist Scott Solomon, these evolutionary changes would happen much quicker than they would on Earth because of the vast changes in lifestyle, gravity and radiation.
Firstly, Mars is smaller than Earth and it has 38 per cent less gravity.
It also lacks a global magnetic field, a thick atmosphere and a protective ozone layer.
This means Mars gets battered by space radiation, UV light, charged particles from the sun and cosmic rays.
And this would cause higher mutation rates in the DNA of humans living there, the scientist says in his book Future Humans.
He says that the skin tone of settlers would likely change to help them cope with the radiation.
This would mean darker skin and possibly in a tone we have never seen before.
Solomon says: Perhaps in the face of this high radiation, we might evolve some new type of skin pigment to help us deal with that radiation.
Maybe we get our own green men
Maybe we get our own green men.
Solomon believes humans on Mars would be more near-sighted as they would only live in their small communities and would no longer need to see far.
He cites cavefish living in deep trenches that have gone blind because they no longer need vision.
Studies have also shown that children who spend more time indoors become more near-sighted.
But that's not all. Humans would also develop brittle bones and weaker muslces, the expert says.
He writes: "Science fiction has often portrayed Martians or aliens coming from Mars as being tall and lanky and thin."
Weaker bones due to the lack of gravity could also cause a woman pelvis to break during childbirth.
Another study by scientists Eneko Axpe and Eric Appel claims that half of astronauts travelling to Mars would develop Osteoporosis - a health condition which makes bones weaker and easier to fracture.
In fact, NASA scientists are trying to figure out how to deal with space weightlessness and its impact on the density of bones and muscles.
Modern astronauts have to exercise for around two hours per day in space t prevent this from happening.
Appel said: "A lot of people focus on the technological challenges of getting to Mars, or the psychological challenges of being in a spacecraft for 1,000 days, but not necessarily the fact that your bones decay.
"Can people even make it, or will they be jello by the time they get there?"
Meanwhile, Solomons also believes humans on the Red Planet would lose their immune system fairly quickly because they would be living in a sterile environment.
This is because the settlers would have no need for a body capable of fighting off germs.
These changes could mean that humans are forced to splinter from their Martian cousins as physical contact such as sexual intercourse could be lethal for the "little green men."
The biologist also reckons Martian kids living in Musk's colony would see evolutionary changes in maybe one generation or two.
He said: "Evolution is faster or slower depending on how much of an advantage there is to having a certain mutation.
"If a mutation pops up for people living on Mars, and it gives them a 50-per cent survival advantage, thats a huge advantage, right?
"And that means that those individuals are going to be passing those genes on at a much higher rate than they otherwise would have.
In a message to Musk and other billionaires keen on making the move to Mars, the Amazon founder and the world's second richest man Jeff Bezos issued a stark warning.
The Amazon founder said: "My friends who want to move to Mars? I say do me a favour:
"Go live on the top of Mount Everest for a year first and see if you like it, because it's a garden paradise compared to Mars."
Musk has long spoken about his dream of colonising Mars - with his vision of mankind's first city on the Red Planet by around 2050.
SpaceX's current goal is to send the first uncrewed version of his massive Starship vessel to 2024.
And the billionaire remains confident that the first humans will land on Mars by 2026.
He hopes that within his lifetime he will be able to transport around one million people to live on Mars.
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