So yeah, they found something on Mars, and the general attitude seems to be that it’s evidence of past life — organic stuff, like complex carbon molecules.
It makes some sense that they had to go further south to find this, assuming that my hunch is correct that something cracked into the planet at Hellas Planitia, created the Tharsis Bulge, and then created a barfage of something like lava through Valles Marineris (wonder if this caused any past magnetic field to vanish?), which flooded into the Boreas Basin all over the northern half of the planet.
It makes me think that the top half of the planet was effectively subjected to a violent baking/scouring away of any signs of past life due to lava floods. If there were any living things on Mars, even microbes, I’m thinking that evidence of it would be much less easy to find up north. Curiosity is fairly far south, comparatively. It seems more likely that they would find something like that the further away one goes from the Borealis Basin.
I’d still love to send something to a relatively flat area down south, Hellas Planitia, and the Tharsis Bulge.