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Author Topic: My Theory On The Anatomy Of A Air Jellyfish....type thing  (Read 11813 times)
Arvis
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Never underestimate the power of a hairless monkey


« Reply #100 on: August 20, 2010, 02:20:32 pm »

And we'll call this free flying floating island continent "Pan-Amgea"!

 Wink
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« Reply #101 on: August 20, 2010, 02:25:22 pm »

rofl, that's great..  Grin
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #102 on: July 22, 2012, 03:10:08 pm »

The latest issue of Fortean Times has an article about the idea that UFO's are living creatures. Though for some reason the headline describes it as a new theory.

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Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
Arvis
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Never underestimate the power of a hairless monkey


« Reply #103 on: July 22, 2012, 11:10:46 pm »

The latest issue of Fortean Times has an article about the idea that UFO's are living creatures. Though for some reason the headline describes it as a new theory.




 Whoa, her's a blast from the past. A bit of "thread necromancy".

 You recon they glanced through here for some inspiration?
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #104 on: July 22, 2012, 11:20:44 pm »

No. it's a decades old theory. In fact Kenneth Arnold seemed to believe what he saw was living creatures rather than crafts.
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Aleister Crow
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« Reply #105 on: July 22, 2012, 11:29:33 pm »

The latest issue of Fortean Times has an article about the idea that UFO's are living creatures. Though for some reason the headline describes it as a new theory.




I want to know more about the "Monkey Revenge".
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'How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!'
Atterton
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« Reply #106 on: July 22, 2012, 11:34:35 pm »

Not the "dog-headed pig-monster"?
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Arvis
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Never underestimate the power of a hairless monkey


« Reply #107 on: July 22, 2012, 11:48:18 pm »

The latest issue of Fortean Times has an article about the idea that UFO's are living creatures. Though for some reason the headline describes it as a new theory.




I want to know more about the "Monkey Revenge".


 *eyes narrowing suspiciously*

 Is your conscience bothering you? Is there something you wish to share/unburden your soul about?

 Something about...         
                ...monkeys?
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Aleister Crow
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« Reply #108 on: July 23, 2012, 12:08:43 am »

Maybe I shouldn't have given them lasers?
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Arvis
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Never underestimate the power of a hairless monkey


« Reply #109 on: July 23, 2012, 12:10:56 am »

Maybe I shouldn't have given them lasers?

 AWWWwww I thought it was something bad. By all means, let man meet his match!
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #110 on: July 16, 2014, 09:23:43 pm »

Could it be that the sky jellyfish survive by living off lightning?

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25894-meet-the-electric-life-forms-that-live-on-pure-energy.html#.U8baXi5uuTl
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Hez
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« Reply #111 on: July 17, 2014, 08:57:36 am »



Hmmm, it would certainly scuttle the theory that they float by making and storing hydrogen.
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #112 on: July 17, 2014, 09:13:24 am »

No, those are two different things.
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Pantaleon
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« Reply #113 on: July 25, 2014, 01:32:10 am »

1. Concerning lightning
I could be entirely wrong here due to a limited (remaining) knowledge of physics, but shouldn't a flying creature be safe of lightning? Lightning is created by the negative charge of a storm cloud which is earthed when the flash hits the ground. Hitting a flying creature wouldn't earth the charge, and wouldn't the resistance of the flyer be to high as well?


2. concerning evolution

Ladies, Gents, et al,

I've just read this entire thread, and what it leaves me wondering is why Nature hasn't evolved such a creature, as the concept certainly seems entirely feasible. Nature's development of flight seems entirely built around wings of one sort or another...try as I might, I cannot think of a single creature, extant or extinct, that utilizes any other sort of lifting device...but why? A Nature that can devise creatures that generate electricity( eels etc.,) produce light(lightning bugs, many sea creatures,)use chemical warfare (skunks,some ants,)and poison (many)...not to mention coming up with a living thing as unlikely as a platypus, an egg laying mammal with a bill like a duck, a tail like a beaver, and a poisonous spur ...hasn't ever devised an alternative method of flight? The only things I could come up with were baby spiders, which let out silk and let the wind carry them, and plants like thistles, whose seeds are also wind borne...can anyone think of anything else?

T.E.T.

When talking about the evolution of such a creature, you don't just have to think about the viability of the "final product" (the air jellyfish) but also it's ancestors.
Example: while it might be possible to create a creature which moves around on organic wheels, it's pretty much impossible for such an animal to gradually evolve.
Now, back to the air jelly: I think this could actually evolve (altough it would be a bit of a stretch), here is my path of thought:
The original ancestor produced large amounts of methane or hydrogen in its intestines, either to use as defense weapon or just as byproduct.
Maybe this ancestor was an aquatic creature which used the produced gas as lifting gas in a swim bladder. The gas store became bigger and bigger to reduce the animal's weight. (The gas bag would have to be quite big to lift the creature of the ground, and before that it would be very vulnerable. That's probably why this hasn't happened on earth)
But if this animal had evolved in a place safe from predators, it could have made the step.
Such a place would be the open sea. If our air jelly evolved from a sear creature, it could quite easily learn to fly by floating just above the water surface and catch unsuspecting prey below. (it's nigh impossible to see from the water above the surface, that's also why flying fish fly. Predators can't see them any more). From there, the jelly could then easily become bigger and bigger and optimise its envelope until it is efficient enough to fly higher and venture onto land where it could find prey more easily.

3. On lifting gas.
While Helium would be the safest choice, it's extremely rare on earth (only 5 ppm in the atmosphere) and it's nigh impossible for a harvesting mechanism to evolve because of that.

Methane is a lot easier to come by, as it's produced by gut bacteria, for example. However, it's highly flammable and doesn't create a lot of lift. To be exact, it creates a lifting force of 45 lb/1000 cu ft, or 5.4 N/cu m

Hydrogen would be the obvious choice, I'd say, as it is also rather easily produced by organisms and has a very high lifting force: 66 lb/1000 cu ft or 10,4N/cu m

(by the way, I am absolutely not sure about those numbers. I got them through multiple conversions and every page on the internet seems to say something else. Does anyone have precise numbers?)

4. Note on flammability
I don't think this should be a major concern for an animal. except for the unlikely lightning strike and spontaneous combustion there are few causes for fire in nature. Also, it is surprisingly difficult to set an airship (or air jelly for that matter) on fire. This documentary here explains it rather well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzNCwfAYaJI
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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #114 on: July 27, 2014, 02:39:09 am »

You're forgetting decomposition of organic matter; it's the reason city dumps tend to smolder and catch fire.
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Angus A Fitziron
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Research Air Ship R.A.S. 'Saorsa'


« Reply #115 on: August 21, 2014, 09:17:18 pm »

1. Concerning lightning
I could be entirely wrong here due to a limited (remaining) knowledge of physics, but shouldn't a flying creature be safe of lightning? Lightning is created by the negative charge of a storm cloud which is earthed when the flash hits the ground. Hitting a flying creature wouldn't earth the charge, and wouldn't the resistance of the flyer be to high as well?


2. concerning evolution

Ladies, Gents, et al,

I've just read this entire thread, and what it leaves me wondering is why Nature hasn't evolved such a creature, as the concept certainly seems entirely feasible. Nature's development of flight seems entirely built around wings of one sort or another...try as I might, I cannot think of a single creature, extant or extinct, that utilizes any other sort of lifting device...but why? A Nature that can devise creatures that generate electricity( eels etc.,) produce light(lightning bugs, many sea creatures,)use chemical warfare (skunks,some ants,)and poison (many)...not to mention coming up with a living thing as unlikely as a platypus, an egg laying mammal with a bill like a duck, a tail like a beaver, and a poisonous spur ...hasn't ever devised an alternative method of flight? The only things I could come up with were baby spiders, which let out silk and let the wind carry them, and plants like thistles, whose seeds are also wind borne...can anyone think of anything else?

T.E.T.

When talking about the evolution of such a creature, you don't just have to think about the viability of the "final product" (the air jellyfish) but also it's ancestors.
Example: while it might be possible to create a creature which moves around on organic wheels, it's pretty much impossible for such an animal to gradually evolve.
Now, back to the air jelly: I think this could actually evolve (altough it would be a bit of a stretch), here is my path of thought:
The original ancestor produced large amounts of methane or hydrogen in its intestines, either to use as defense weapon or just as byproduct.
Maybe this ancestor was an aquatic creature which used the produced gas as lifting gas in a swim bladder. The gas store became bigger and bigger to reduce the animal's weight. (The gas bag would have to be quite big to lift the creature of the ground, and before that it would be very vulnerable. That's probably why this hasn't happened on earth)
But if this animal had evolved in a place safe from predators, it could have made the step.
Such a place would be the open sea. If our air jelly evolved from a sear creature, it could quite easily learn to fly by floating just above the water surface and catch unsuspecting prey below. (it's nigh impossible to see from the water above the surface, that's also why flying fish fly. Predators can't see them any more). From there, the jelly could then easily become bigger and bigger and optimise its envelope until it is efficient enough to fly higher and venture onto land where it could find prey more easily.

3. On lifting gas.
While Helium would be the safest choice, it's extremely rare on earth (only 5 ppm in the atmosphere) and it's nigh impossible for a harvesting mechanism to evolve because of that.

Methane is a lot easier to come by, as it's produced by gut bacteria, for example. However, it's highly flammable and doesn't create a lot of lift. To be exact, it creates a lifting force of 45 lb/1000 cu ft, or 5.4 N/cu m

Hydrogen would be the obvious choice, I'd say, as it is also rather easily produced by organisms and has a very high lifting force: 66 lb/1000 cu ft or 10,4N/cu m

(by the way, I am absolutely not sure about those numbers. I got them through multiple conversions and every page on the internet seems to say something else. Does anyone have precise numbers?)

4. Note on flammability
I don't think this should be a major concern for an animal. except for the unlikely lightning strike and spontaneous combustion there are few causes for fire in nature. Also, it is surprisingly difficult to set an airship (or air jelly for that matter) on fire. This documentary here explains it rather well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzNCwfAYaJI
1 concerning lightning. Modern aircraft don't suffer from lightning strike because all of the delicate devices are enclosed within the metallic outer shell which provides a short circuit round the soft squishy bits inside - a structure often described as a Faraday Cage. If the cage is of too high a resistance or is seriously broken, lightning IS a hazard to hydrogen filled vessels - you only have to look at the Hindenberg!

2. Evolution - I can't see an issue, hydrogen is produced in the gut - farts are mainly hydrogen! Not hard to see a genetic disposition to store hydrogen which over millenia causes lift off. Finding missing links in evolutionary paths is one of the big problems with the theory. I mean, where are the skeletons of short necked giraffes? Depending where the gas is trapped would indicate either a bladder storage or cellular - eg jelly.

3. Helium is not produced naturally, it is found as a compound in petro-chemical deposits so likely to only be found in microscopic life forms. Methane works but hydrogen is the obvious path as above.

4. If you are full of hydrogen fire is a very real hazard. Lightning will cause spontaneous combustion, no problem. On the positive side, animals in the wild rarely smoke or cook on an open fire. What would be really cool is if one of the beast's defences is to use the hydrogen and 'burp' it, igniting the gas by clicking their teeth made of a piezo electric crystal! Instant dragons...
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« Reply #116 on: August 22, 2014, 03:40:49 am »


<snip>

4. If you are full of hydrogen fire is a very real hazard. Lightning will cause spontaneous combustion, no problem. On the positive side, animals in the wild rarely smoke or cook on an open fire. What would be really cool is if one of the beast's defences is to use the hydrogen and 'burp' it, igniting the gas by clicking their teeth made of a piezo electric crystal! Instant dragons...


Two point on this:

1) Hydrogen is a fire risk, true - but any animal that's just been hit by several Gigawatts of electricity is going to be having a really bad day anyway...

Also Hydrogen is only explosive when combined with an Oxygen source, either gaseous Oxygen or any other strong oxidizing chemical agent.
The most common oxidizing agents : 
Oxygen (O2)
Ozone (O3)
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and other inorganic peroxides
Fluorine (F2), chlorine (Cl2), and other halogens
Nitric acid (HNO3) and nitrate compounds
Sulfuric acid (H2SO4)
Nitrous oxide (N2O)
Potassium nitrate (KNO3)

Apart from Chlorine and atmospheric Oxygen, there is little scope of risk from these other agents (Chlorine being possibly produced from Hydrochloric acid in the stomach under certain conditions). Gaseous Oxygen levels are usually quite low in the digestive tract, and Carbon Dioxide tends to be higher, reducing fire risk slightly. Though Hydrogen has a wide range of combustible fuel-air mixtures.

Potentially there could be a case for symbioses - Hydrogen producing bacteria living within the tissue of the creature, or even within the actual cells, where the bacteria are supplied with nutrients. Symbiotic relationships are common within lifeforms. The produced gas would be pure, and with no Oxygen source, would not be explosive under normal conditions.


2)  To be able to 'burp' Hydrogen would require hydrogen producing gut bacteria, which tend to colonise further down the digestive tract. If anything they would likely just blow a fiery fart. Still, the effect would be similar - and vastly more entertaining!  Grin
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Angus A Fitziron
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Research Air Ship R.A.S. 'Saorsa'


« Reply #117 on: August 22, 2014, 11:08:16 am »


1) Hydrogen is a fire risk, true - but any animal that's just been hit by several Gigawatts of electricity is going to be having a really bad day anyway...

   Cheesy

Quote
Also Hydrogen is only explosive when combined with an Oxygen source, either gaseous Oxygen or any other strong oxidizing chemical agent.
The most common oxidizing agents : 
Oxygen (O2)
Ozone (O3)
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and other inorganic peroxides
Fluorine (F2), chlorine (Cl2), and other halogens
Nitric acid (HNO3) and nitrate compounds
Sulfuric acid (H2SO4)
Nitrous oxide (N2O)
Potassium nitrate (KNO3)

Apart from Chlorine and atmospheric Oxygen, there is little scope of risk from these other agents (Chlorine being possibly produced from Hydrochloric acid in the stomach under certain conditions). Gaseous Oxygen levels are usually quite low in the digestive tract, and Carbon Dioxide tends to be higher, reducing fire risk slightly. Though Hydrogen has a wide range of combustible fuel-air mixtures.

I suppose I had only really considered that the hydrogen would burn in atmospheric air after the gas container was damaged by the lightning strike. The thought of a lifeform floating around like a simmering time-bomb is just too Darwinian to contemplate!

Quote

2)  To be able to 'burp' Hydrogen would require hydrogen producing gut bacteria, which tend to colonise further down the digestive tract. If anything they would likely just blow a fiery fart. Still, the effect would be similar - and vastly more entertaining!  Grin

...also probably very useful in the event of a quick escape being necessary. Can't immediately imagine a reliable and believable method of ignition at the moment, I mean it has to only trigger when needed otherwise you would be for ever having to buy new duvets!
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Inflatable Friend
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« Reply #118 on: August 23, 2014, 04:03:40 pm »

Way back when I was fiddling around with Creatures of the Upper Atmosphere I tried to rationalise out a process by which the first airjellies evolved (thanks to the wonderful world in which we live I was directed to this very same thread in there!)

I sort of settled on the original flying jelly pioneers being a mutation of everyone's favorite Siphonophora, the Portuguese Man o' War (also a popular solution in this thread!). At some point in the air jellies evolution a mutation arose that meant the zooid that makes up the bladder/sail part began to create methane/hydrogen in addition to carbon monoxide. Over time they left the ocean and took to the air, feeding on small birds and so on. One of the predators of the Man o' War, the Sea Swallow (a type of sea slug) also uses a self inflating gas bladder and is pretty hot for the Man o' War even going as far as having a specialist digestive system to re-purpose the stinger cells of its prey! Given the arms race between predator and prey it wouldn't be to much of a leap to imagine a sub variant of the Sea Swallow developing in the same period. Over time the two mutated further into the main species encountered during the protagonists fateful journey.

Of course, that'd only be mentioned in passing as a way of partly justifying the existence of such creatures to the reader who, hopefully, would be satisfied that I'd done enough research and sensible development with the creatures that they wouldn't question the more outlandish ones (flying coral or the various parasites).

If something like the Man o' War wasn't suitable then devising another type of creature capable of harvesting and controlling algae could be a viable option. Or put a giant distended appendix to good use and rise above it all!
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Atterton
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« Reply #119 on: August 19, 2015, 05:46:32 am »

The astronauts aboard the ISS managed to get a good photo of a sky jellyfish:

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Maets
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« Reply #120 on: August 19, 2015, 02:05:49 pm »

Can't believe I missed this thread the first couple of times around.  Thanks for reviving it.  Fits with the story line I am trying to develop for my airships.
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Burgess Shale
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« Reply #121 on: August 19, 2015, 04:33:51 pm »

These airjellies are one of the reasons that I'd want a subterranean dirigible path from Chicago to Prague. It would be slow going until someone developed supercthonic aircraft.
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