The Emergence of Life

Loki: Chapter 4


   Once, a long time ago, there was nothing. Nothing in the ocean but the water and the lava. Out of the lava and the water came weird and eerie oozes. Soon, after only 700 million years of seething and stewing, some of these oozes started using other ooze to make more of itself. Thus was life born.

   Later on (100 million years later), some of the oozes started using the sulfur and the water to provide their own energy, for that prevented them from requiring new ooze to make stuff. All they needed was to be near a volcano. Since there were always volcanoes, these chemosynthetic oozes prospered.

   Relatively soon (400 million years after life), some of these oozes, full of ambition, started using the radiation from volcanoes to synthesize carbon fragments for food. They, too, enjoyed the volcanoes. They used a dark reddish-purple pigment to change the long-wave radiation to chemical energy.

   When a particularly violent eruption swept a representative portion of life to the upper reaches of the ocean, the chemosynthesizers that had prospered started dying. The IR synthesizers, on the other hand, found an accessible source of radiation, and started using it, blithely ignoring that it seemed to come from the wrong direction.

    Back on the volcanoes of the lower level, the IR's found a very easy way to compete against the chemosynthesizers. They started growing together, and reaching higher, into the warm water above the volcanoes. This let them get involved with higher levels of heat, and increased their numbers as well. This caused chemosynthesizers to have the same idea, but implement it differently. The chemosynthesizers used the newly created higher places to perch and absorb their chemicals. This set off veritable population explosions all through the volcanically active sphere.



Chris Jones
Sat Feb 18 00:31:33 MST 1995