Category Archives: September

Of Neptunians, Saturnians, and Jupiterians

I recently began wondering if there was life on Jupiter.  I know…  For any of you astronomy buffs out there, Jupiter’s just a great big ball of poisonous gas, right?  The weather is always stormy (on average, perhaps 100 times worse than the biggest hurricane or tropical storm ever to hit our planet), on a good day the winds are still about 1000 miles per hour, and once you start descending into the lower levels of Jupiter’s atmosphere (a feat once attempted by one of NASA’s very own space probes), there’s so much Jupiterian “air” and gases above you that the sheer weight of it all will crush you – that is, if your space ship hasn’t been ripped apart by the harsh winds already!  So how could anything survive on that God forsaken hell hole?!  To make matters worse, Jupiter also allegedly serves as “the vacuum cleaner” of our solar system.  Most asteroids or comets from further out in space that would otherwise have hit our world and destroyed all life as we know it, usually instead just hit and get swallowed up by Jupiter, making our chances of suffering a life shattering impact fortunately much lower. “Definitely not suitable for extraterrestrials,” they’d probably say.

Life on Jupiter

Life on Jupiter.

But I couldn’t help but wonder: Could there still be life on The Gas Giant…?

There’s this funny thing that scientists are discovering about life at least on our planet: It can survive just about anywhere!  At the bottom of the ocean where no sunlight ever penetrates, to dark poisonous caverns deep within the earth, to inside of our bodies, to molten hot geysers and lava fissures, to even various levels of our own atmosphere, life always flourishes.  It may not be the kind of life which you or I may want to encounter – just a boring little amoeba or bacterium swimming under a microscope – but it still qualifies as some kind of living thing, and once again, it is alive!  There’s also a funny thing which scientists are just now beginning to discover about asteroids and comets (once again, two things that have hit Jupiter in great abundance): They can be transporters or even factories for life!  That’s right!  Not only have scientists speculated that frozen bacteria and microorganisms could theoretically hitch a ride to another world aboard an asteroid, but comets, in particular, are already teaming with the water, chemicals and gunk which life often uses as “building blocks.”  In other words, the water we drink and all the “stuff” which makes up our bodies – and ourselves, for that matter – all may have been brewed and cooked up on a comet that eventually hit Earth!  The very things that we are sometimes most afraid of may have also been the very same things that gave rise to Mother Nature.

Jupiter's red spot.

Jupiter’s red spot.

So, could we at least say that there are scores of little critters (becteria, germs, amoebas, viruses, slime, etc.) who are now bobbing along quite happily in Jupiter’s air…?  Who’s to say!  But aside from the simple little creatures who can’t really talk to you, and possibly don’t have much of a mind, could there also be intelligent and complex life forms on the gas giants, however, aliens who would of course be a little bit different than what you’d find on, say, a more rocky world.  Since you would once again have to deal with some pretty harsh winds, temperatures and nasty weather once you grew to a certain size, maybe “The Jupiterians” as I’d like to call them – and perhaps the beings who could very well inhabit the other gas giants as well (Neptune, Saturn and Uranus) – are beings comprised mostly of, well…. GAS!  That brings me to another point to ponder: Could consciousness (whatever that thing is inside of you, and me, and that makes you realize that you’re alive and really you, and me realize that I’m alive and really me) live in just about any body?  Could intelligent life take on just about any form imaginable?!  Like Mr. Spock once said on a forgotten episode of Star Trek,

 “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

And no…. I don’t think I’m just blowing hot air out my anus!  (And believe me, that would really STINK!!)

Life inside Jupiter's atmosphere.

Inside Jupiter’s atmosphere.

So yes.  The beings I’ve currently imagined as the perfect fit for the volatile gas worlds such as Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter are highly intelligent gas beings composed of atmosphere and electricity.  They might resemble talking clouds, thunderheads, or even bizarre but intelligent whirlwinds.  They might even happily swirl and flow at thousands of miles per hour within a gas giant’s various levels – since it’s a paradise to them – and they may have even become aware of our own existence quite some time ago, although we are still completely unaware or even appreciative of them, and they may have still had little or no interest in visiting our own puny and relatively airless planet.  But how awesome it would be if we could someday observe them in their world!  (…assuming we could even survive the journey.)

Now can you imagine that???  A being resembling a talking, glowing thunderhead?  Also, considering the gas giants are all many times larger than our own little rock (like perhaps with a marble when placed next to a fully inflated beach ball), these beings could all be the size of thunderheads too – with plenty of space left aside to float around!

Hey, and you thought all life forms had to be made of meat!   😉

>>> Michael Bok, co-founder of