The View Screen Shows Life!

Charles Stuart

Bristol, United Kingdom

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Sci-fi, chalk pastel on black paper. Second picture in series.

The spacecraft has descended to a level where sonar suggests there may be life. When the view screen is switched on, that life is revealed in all its glory.

The first thing that is seen is a flying “octopus” using its harpoon-like, prehensile tongue to spear and reel in a giant non-parasitic mite. The mite is spraying its blue blood, not just because it has been speared, but also as a futile defence against its predator. The blood contains an irritant but the octopus is either unaffected or able to cope enough to ensure that it gets its meal.

Coming up behind, the lavender coloured organism is a mobile fungus that has eyes, the blue spots. As the octopus flies away, it will go where the mite currently is and extend its hyphae into the area where the mite has squirted its blood. The fungus will also feast upon the excreta of the sail creature, only the sails of which are visible at the bottom of the screen.

The sail creature is a herbivore and it usually lives thousands of feet below where it currently is. It could easily have been on the octopus’s menu but this time it’s OK because the octopus caught the mite. The only reason that the sail creature and other herbivores come up to this level is to defecate. Once it has done so, it returns to the safety of its usual habitat many thousands of feet below. That is where the planet’s plant life is found and the carnivores rarely descend to that level because the plants grow too thickly and interfere with predators’ mobility. Also at the plant level, there are fungi that would be more recognizable to us.

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sci fi chalk pastel black paper

Artwork Comments

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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