I recently thought back to the old 1980 Carl Sagan Cosmos series on Public TV and his conversations about the possibility of life on other worlds looking different from on earth. He added that such life could be based on other elements than what all life on earth is based on: carbon. Remember, to the aliens in Star Trek the Motion Picture (1979), Captain Kirk and crew were just “Carbon-based units infesting the Starship Enterprise.”
Sagan surmised that on some other world there might be life which spends its entire life in the upper air (even birds have nests in trees and gobble up worms while walking upon the ground).
But some life forms spend all of their time in the water (a boon to the fisherman).
Over time, I’ve noticed something that, just like actual life, has seemed to carve out a multitude of niches for itself in every kind of habitation possible (I even a saw a picture of one of these “things” on the bottom of the sea floor).
I’ve seen some of them “perched” in the twigs at the ends of the highest tree limbs, in both young saplings and giants. I’ve also seen them caught in the leaves and stalks of roadside weeds, as well as flying high on an air current, like a kite or balloon! Why, just the other day while walking at Danville’s Ballou Park, I saw one of them seemingly “ambling” across the ground.
And some of their brightest colors almost steal the morning glory’s glory! When I saw a bright red one “hanging around” a tree seedling on the side of a modest cliff’s rock outcrop on Memorial Drive, I first mistook it for a red sign warning of small rock slides.
Since they seem to be so universal, I guess I should go ahead and give some of them a scientific name, just as in the scientific journals, while adding a brief description.
I will include in my made-up, pseudo-scientific name the word “Medusa,” since that is part of the actual scientific name for the jellyfish; and because, just like the jellyfish, they also have a “bag-like” shape.
Here are a few of them which I have “classified”:
Medusa superdollarensis (a yellow color stands out),
Medusa walmartensis (a dark gray color stands out),
Medusa targetensis (a white color stands out, with the strange marking of a red circle surrounding a red dot),
Medusa thankyouensis (a white color stands out, with the word “Thank you” repeated a multitude of times, as if to note a sense of politeness). Any specimen of these which has freshly entered the natural world often carries the smell of some popular foodstuff within.
Just like life, they’re everywhere; but not the least bit alive!