June 23, 2011

Exoplanetary Worms

As your emissary, I have gone to great lengths to bring you exographical discoveries from alien worlds. I even went to war just so I could report about exobiological creatures that I will encounter on my otherworldly adventures.

Of course, in my terms, “otherworldy” include the virtual realms of gaming. So today, I bring you exoworms from Gears of War! But first, here's some background info.

Recently on Earth, a species of extremophilic nematode worms (named Halicephalobus mephisto, after Mephistopheles, a nickname for the Devil) were discovered deep below the South African mines. It's the first multicellular organism to be found at such depths. The discovery challenged the assumption that deep subsurface ecosystems cannot support multi-cellular lifeforms because everyone assumed that underground environments several miles deep are too hostile because of the pressure, hot temperatures, and lack of oxygen and space.

Now scientists are saying that it may have implications in the search for life on other planets. And I couldn’t agree more! Especially when this discovery comes at the perfect time when I was slogging through the Gears of War series (on a tight deadline to prepare myself for the final installment to its trilogy).

That’s why after hearing the news of the 'devil' worms, I was distracted when I encountered the rockworms and riftworms in Gears of War. In the game's backstory set on an earth-like planet Sera, these riftworms were used by the nemesis Locust Horde to burrow directly underneath the cities of human colonies to sink them. Then I liked that these rockworms eat some bioluminiscent substance--which was subtly incorporated in the gameplay.

Suddenly, I began to think that exoplanetary worms aren’t so far-fetched anymore, especially when I remember the fact that the ancient animals here on earth were giants compared to their sizes now. (Ancient ants used to be the size of a hummingbird!)

In that regard, I would advise future human colonists to check deep underground before setting up their colonies on other planets.

That's all for now. Frag out!

Deep-Earth devil worms

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