Paradox_Dolphin t1_jd14wfk wrote

Yeah, you're totally right. Also, it doesn't require civilization or industrialization to become space fairing. Imagine this concept:

A type of life that isn't intelligent to our understanding. They're sort of like lichen, so a lot of symbiosis with other species to create one whole. Together, over millions of years, they build massive biological structures that contain entire ecosystems and platform up to the edge of their atmosphere. (perhaps they grow towards light)

In the ecosystems on the edge of their atmosphere, their life has evolved to survive in hard vacuum, high radiation environments.

Their planet gets hit by an asteroid, sending bits of the structure out into space. Space-faring life, no civilization. (this is like the panspermia argument, except it'd be an entire complex ecosystem drifting through space instead of a few micro-organisms)


Paradox_Dolphin t1_j80voy9 wrote

Wow, animal intelligence never stops amazing me.

It is so sad to me that these animals are still hunted. I have this fantasy of working on a whaling ship, and just sabotaging it the entire time. Like, pour olive oil on the deck so people slip. Light nets on fire in the middle of the night. Just make it hell.


Paradox_Dolphin t1_j7x9j1t wrote

Cetacean Intelligence (there's a section for communication).

It's actually really cool too; Dolphins all have something that researchers call a "signature whistle," which seems very similar to the concept of humans each having a name. And the crazier thing is, for male dolphins, a part of their signature whistle will be taken from their mother's signature whistle, while female dolphins have completely original signature whistles. So this shows not only language, but also suggests culture.

Another awesome example; there are two dolphin species, one generally lives further north while the other lives further south, but they both reproduce around Hawaii. When they meet up around Hawaii, they hunt with each other. The two species generally have vocalizations and hearing abilities that are in a different frequency range, but their frequency ranges have some overlap. So when they hunt together, they switch to making sounds that are in a frequency range that they can both hear/vocalize in. So essentially, they're using a bridge language that neither typically speaks when they're separate.

This next study, I've sadly not heard any updates on, but this company is trying to use ML to translate dolphin language. (they were supposed to have finished the study in 2021, but I never heard more about it. Hoping COVID didn't wreck it.)


Paradox_Dolphin t1_j7wxdoy wrote

It really is. Dolphins and whales are highly intelligent animals, and it's believed they have quite advanced speach. Makes me wonder if they talk about how the oceans aren't providing like they used to. Obviously, they'd have no concept of the fact that a hairless land ape was causing all of this destruction.

But I always wonder why dolphins help and protect humans. There's even records of dolphins helping humans from all the way back in ancient Greece.

And when we eventually translate dolphin language, will we admit that we're the ones causing their food supply problems?


Paradox_Dolphin t1_j6kyrog wrote

There's a lot of research into fixing it.

My favorite solution is space lasers. Basically, have a system of lasers in space, even just a few watts for each laser, and target all the tiny pieces of space junk. Similar to how a comet gets a tail when the sun shines on it, a powerful laser would melt bits of the space junk, causing it to lose velocity, and drop out of orbit.

The reason why this hasn't been done, is because the problem isn't yet big enough for it to be done.

It's currently still very unlikely for a cascade like this to begin, but as we put more into space, the chances just keep getting higher.

I think it'll be like the climate crisis, we'll wait until we feel the effects, and then do something to change it while hoping it's not too late.


Paradox_Dolphin t1_ir7lmhe wrote

I absolutely love that there's water beneath glaciers, that's always such a cool thought.

There are even subglacial lakes, and they contain 15% of the world's liquid freshwater.

The largest is Lake Vostok in antarctica. By volume, lake Vostok is the 6th largest lake in the world. The surface of this lake is about 4000m (13,100ft) beneath the ice. It's potentially been isolated from the rest of Earth's ecosystem for 15-25M years. So if there is any life there, then it'll be unlike anything we've ever seen.

It's also believed to be a similar environment to what we'd find in the subsurface oceans if Enceladus and Europa. So it could be used to test exploration techniques before we travel there.

They remain liquid, because the downward pressure of the ice decreases the melting point into a range that geothermal heat can melt it.