All life forms we know consist ofcarbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. But even if we assume that life on Earth and in our solar system is exclusively organic, does this mean that life is like that in the whole Universe? More than one generation of scientists and theorists is arguing on this subject. However, most of them believe that life can take the most unexpected forms.
Little green men
These days it's hard to find a person who has neverI haven’t seen a single series of X-Files. Of course, we have no doubt that there are such. However, the cult series of the 1990s strengthened the image of little green men in the mass cultural consciousness and made them an integral part of any conversation regarding life outside the Earth.
Scientists, meanwhile, at the mention of smallthe green men smile condescendingly. Life on Earth and, therefore, all the life we know in the Universe, has several basic characteristics. Most of the compounds we can find contain carbon. Scientists call these compounds organic.
But this does not mean that organic lifethe only one in the universe. In fact, we can easily imagine the most diverse conditions in which there will be unusual forms of life for us. If you've seen at least a couple of Rick and Morty episodes, you know what our imagination is capable of. But let's still listen to the scientists.
Ammonia Based Life
Most chemical reactions on whichbased life takes place in water. Water dissolves many different molecules. A good solvent is what you need for complex chemical processes that give rise to life as such.
The physics of extraterrestrial life: aliens should be like earthlings
No matter how strange it may seem to us, but ammoniaquite common in the galaxy. It is also capable of dissolving organic compounds like water, but unlike the latter it dissolves some metallic compounds. This opens up the possibility of using more interesting chemicals in living organisms.
Ammonia-based life may exist beyondthe limits of the so-called Goldilocks zone (the range within which liquid water and optimal temperatures can exist on the planet). Astrobiologists often point to Saturn’s satellite Titan. The fact is that it can hold both oceans of water and oceans of ammonia under its surface.
So you can safely try to imaginesomething like an ammonia octopus, or intelligent ammonia fish, for example. We don’t even know, you’re probably better than us in this task. If possible, write about it in our Telegram chat - we will discuss.
Silicon Based Life
Silicon - an excellent component for lifesomewhere in the universe. Carbon is able to form bonds with four atoms at the same time, to bind to oxygen, forming polymer chains, which make it an ideal component for complex chemistry of life.
And yet, silicon is rather limited in qualitythe basics for life. Silicon forms stable bonds with a limited number of chemical elements. Silicon chemical processes themselves are unstable in an aqueous medium.
And yet, under certain conditions, chemistry onsilicon-based can be life-friendly. Such life forms can exist in an environment rich in methane and even liquid nitrogen, and such places exist in the Universe. So why not?
And what do aliens look like in your opinion?