Tuesday, 14 October 2014

There'll Be Sea Horses Everywhere

The other day I posted a few astronomical pics to illustrate how I handle emotional stress.  One of them was of the Horsehead Nebula, which looks like this in relative close up:


This doesn't look incredibly like or unlike a horse's head to me, although I can see the similarity.  It's not the only thing compared to a horse in the cosmos, such as this:

Rather an oversized version of a white horse, but a "white horse" nonetheless.  Clearly there are going to turn out to be these sorts of white horses all over the Universe too, on any planet with large amounts of liquid and land on its surface which is roughly the size of this one.  The composition of the wave may be liquid methane, ammonia or maybe something unexpected like liquid nitrogen, or it may be water, but the likelihood is that there will be white horses throughout space for almost as long as stars exist.

Then there is of course this:

The reason I mention this is that being a mathematical object it will of course be the same everywhere in the Universe as well.  That crevice between the heart-shaped bit and the round bit rejoices in the name "seahorse valley", and of course people are keen on zooming into it.  I did that earlier and saw this:

Seahorse Valley

It's fairly clear why it's called this.  One salient feature of the Mandelbrot Set is that it contains lots of things which look like living things or other natural phenomena such as lightning strikes.  These look rather like seahorses of course.

Then there are these living things:



Both quite similar and somewhat reminiscent of the Mandelbrot Set.

Finally, there's this:

Not only does this look like a horse at one end, but it looks like a bit of the Mandelbrot Set at the other.  It's already clear there are many things in the Universe which look like horses' heads and many things in the Universe which look like bits of the Mandelbrot Set.  Well, this looks like both.

It seems to me therefore that if it does turn out that the oceans of the Earth-like, or even not particularly Earth-like but still life-bearing, planets and other bodies in the Universe are teeming with life, many of the lives they're going to be teeming with are probably going to be sea horses, and this is likely to be true to a much greater extent than that there are going to be human-like species on other planets, or for that matter even kangaroo- or marmot-like ones.

The Universe, I'd be prepared to bet, is full of sea horses, and this is a very, very good thing.  There will be sea horses everywhere.