With the Passing of Time


Posted on: April 1, 2009

\ik-STREE-muh-fyle\ | noun

1 : an organism that lives under extreme environmental conditions (as in a hot spring or ice cap)

Of course this makes my sci fi lovin’ heart go wild. Life where there should be no life, the possibility of finding clues to life on other worlds. There’s also the belief that some may be examples of the earliest life on Earth. Some extremophiles create energy by oxidizing inorganic chemicals, which makes them prime candidates as examples of what could exist on other planets. I can’t help thinking of some alien race that has evolved much closer to these types of organisms, retained these exotic abilities, yet are now creating civilizations on some distant planet in another solar system.

And without a doubt this word makes me think of that fantastic X-Files episode, “Ice” with the alien parasite found frozen in the ice. Now that is must see TV.

This picture looks like another world but it’s actually the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. Thermophiles, organisms that love extreme heat (140 – 176 degrees Fahrenheit), create the bright colors.

Source: National Park Service; please click for original post

It really looks like an amoeba. Wouldn’t it be great if it actually was a giant single-celled organism that’s been lying dormant for hundreds of years and then some bomb test near Yellowstone sets it off and it starts on a mad rampage absorbing everything in its path. It only moves a fraction of an inch every minute or so but nothing can stop it so even if we can physically stay ahead of it, all the vegetation will eventually be consumed on the planet. Or something like that. :-)

Last year the Marshall Space Flight Center began an expedition to look for extremophiles in Lake Untersee in Antarctica. The lake is so alkaline it’s almost like bleach and its sediment produces “more methane than any other natural body of water on our planet. (Richard Hoover, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center) The idea is if they can find life there, there could be similar creatures on the moons of Saturn or Jupiter (or elsewhere). Far far too cool.

© 2009 With the Passing of Time


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Willingness to join soil, sound, hands; memory follows me ~ Viggo Mortensen
April 2009
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Daily words come from Merriam-Webster's word of the day. All rambling comes from my head.


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