Life in a Jovian Atmosphere? has an article on what it calls “nano-nauts” — small partiles that can maneuver in swirling wind by simply changing their surface texture between rough and smooth. Apparently these particles can steer their way through rough winds while flying in formation (“I am a leaf on the wind…”).

These bots can communicate using wireless, each has various ranges, allowing nearest neighbor communication.
If humans can figure out how to do this, it seems logical to me that life could also manage it.

I’ve often thought it would be interesting to try and build a story around creatures that live in a Jovian atmosphere, creatures that are airborne their whole lives and have to deal with turbulent winds. At first I imagined large balloon-like animals, but decided that the winds would probably be too rough. Now I’m thinking that small hard insect-like creatures might be able to do just fine. Possibly with a hive mind knitted together by radio waves.

This line of thinking was inspired, largely, by Larry Niven’s Integral Trees. Obviously, however, it goes in a different direction.

Update: Here is a nice little image of the Jovian atmosphere, as well as a description. Could it be that larger life forms, like the ones Clarke describes, evolve in the eye of the storm called the Great Red Spot?


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