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Monday, 25 June 2012

Why would aliens want our oceans?


To live there, of course. There have been Scifi stories of aliens wanting to steal our water, but honestly, if a species could develop interplanetary travel capability, they could probably sort out a local water supply problem. But as we continue to find new planets ‘out there’, we may find that most of them are relatively ‘dry’. Water is often considered to be a necessity for intelligent (or any) life to evolve (I don’t think other paths are excluded, but let’s go with the flow for a moment). We came from the sea (so we’re told J) and evolved on land, but it might well be that a species could evolve technologically underwater, or else remain parochially attached to the seas and oceans on their world. What if they polluted their world, or suffered an environmental catastrophe, self-inflicted or otherwise? Of the hundreds of planets they might know of, how many would be (a) in their ‘Goldilocks zone’ (able to support their species type with environmental and gravity factors) and (b) contain oceans? Probably very few. Maybe one. Our colloquially and strangely-named blue planet (Earth).

They might covet it. It might take them millennia to arrive, and they might notice a few savages in loin cloths skulking in the rocks, but see that the true seat of a civilisation – the oceans – were marvellously untouched. They would set off, and place their young in hibernation for the journey, to arrive thousands of years later, by which time we’d be skulking around skyscrapers, in some places still sporting loin cloths.

So I wrote Diplomatic Solution to consider this scenario (not a comedy, by the way). I did not state the premise, as above, I simply showed them landing and what happened afterwards. One man tries to communicate with the aquatic invaders to avert a war that will destroy the planet. But how to communicate with them? And at what price?

Not much science fiction delves beneath the waves. As a scuba diver, I wish more would. I’ve done a small amount, with a Mariana Trench chapter in The Eden Paradox, and an advanced alien ship hiding in an underground ocean in two chapters of Eden’s Trial. After all, it’s another world, and I get most of my ideas for aliens from undersea tropical creatures. One thing I don’t do underwater, however, is read or write: too much to watch...


Also by this author:

The Eden Paradox, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and Ampichellis

Eden’s Trial, available on Amazon

Eden’s Revenge – Xmas 2012…

4 comments:

  1. Water is one of the more abundant chemicals in our solar system. The entire Oort cloud, many moons, and even our own beloved Luna all have large water deposits. Right now NASA is discussing the possibility of life on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons that is thought to have global oceans beneath its icy exterior. I'd love to see the first pictures of what's down there once we get a probe under that ice!

    I've often thought about this issue myself. According to the astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, the elements that make up life as we know it in order of abundance matches the abundance of those same elements in the galaxy. (e.g. % Carbon, % Oxygen, etc. match) Water, it is thought, may be very common in the galaxy. These two things together make me think we'll find aquatic life on other worlds long before we find anything that lives like we do.

    Time will tell, right?

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  2. That's a good point - I hadn't heard there might be oceans nuder the ice on Europe (I refer to Jupiter's moons as having water in The Eden Paradox, but had heard there would be a lot of methane and wondered what type of life forms could exist). If water will be plentiful, then maybe we need to write more aquatic scifi - at least Star Trek's last series had an aquatic life form. I still think our oceans might be pretty welcoming to an alien species, a nice cocktail abundant in life. That is of course, as long as we don't trash them :-) Thanks for the informative comment.

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    Replies
    1. I agree, there really should be more aquatic life in sci-fi. I would think any species coming to Earth for its oceans might be here to, perhaps, study aquatic evolution, or collect a rare species.

      Come to think of it, given the apparent abundance of oceans around, other life forms may, as you wrote, find our oceans quite comfy.

      As far as our own solar system goes, I've heard of a few species, both real and theoretical, that can survive and thrive in methane rich environments so methane is not necessarily the life-killer it is for us. I too wonder what could evolve in such environments.

      I can imagine some life forms in our oceans being delicacies to alien life, for that matter, we could be too. ;) It may sound strange, but I think the Predator series of movies is probably one of the more realistic as far as Earth-invasion themes go.

      It seems we're having a timely discussion.
      NASA has more oceans in the solar system news today:

      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2012/28jun_titanocean/

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  3. Mike, that's a really cool link, thanks for sharing it!

    I also liked the Predatot series, well, the first one in particular. My 'Q'Roth' aliens have some similarities...

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