Tuesday, 25 November 2014

jupiter vi

Via the Presurfer comes a study about the unique niche that type of deep-ocean shrimp have occupied, whose symbiosis with extremophile bacteria may point us towards extraterrestrial corollaries, which may be discovered in environments like on the Moon of Europa.
One can also find out more about the research and the mysterious satellite thanks to this splendid video presentation curated by BoingBoing. The existence and lifestyle of these shrimp that float in the narrow, tolerable range between the frigid depths and the boiling, churning thermal vents makes me think of the strange and secretive race of Outsiders as imagined in Larry Niven’s Known Space franchise. The ancient creatures evolved on a frozen world, as evinced by the fact that they later lease one of the moons of Neptune from the Humans as a local base of operation, and eked out a bit of a vital spark from the difference in temperature between unfiltered solar radiation and the subzero surface of their planet. Examples found in terrestrial biology so far only show a population established in the more Goldie Locks places of the world specialised and moving into an exclusive environment—which is amazing enough in itself—but signs that life sprung up organically in such places remain elusive.