As I read this article, I didn’t realize all the pieces had started coming together. That humanity was really on the brink of finding life outside of our little half-evolved mudball. A dream so many have and labored toward about to come to fruition.
The real interesting information, the bit that sucked me down the biological rabbit hole, was the many many ways life might manifest. Yes, science fiction has explored a wide variety of alien lifeforms, but I think, when it’s all said and done, the life we do find won’t be anything like we imagined.
As a science fiction author, I love the possibilities. Just on the carbon-based side of the equation, there are all kinds of variations in the trace elements that would change the way life looks, acts, reacts. More interesting is the possibilities outside of carbon.
Now, most scientists assume other compounds would have to oxidize for life to work with with organics. I think that might not be the case. Maybe air isn’t a requirement of some life. Maybe warmth isn’t needed, but pressure instead. What if sentient life was crystalline silicon trees, formed from the shards of their parent, pieces which broke off during a methane storm and rooted in search of liquid hydrogen?
So let your imagination run with the idea. And when we do find alien life, I restate my wish that we find Vulcans.
Science in the pursuit of fiction.