Long ago, a clan of hardy microbes called cyanobacteria helped terraform the lifeless Earth into a vibrant biosphere. Today, the very same critters could be the key to colonizing Mars.
The Spratly islands are not a natural spot for a layover. They are isolated—tiny, shallow islands spread out over a huge chunk of the South China Sea. So why are so many nations rushing to construct airline runways and other infrastructure there?
Before we talk about terraforming another planet like Mars, we have to talk about Earth—and whether we should be spending our resources trying to save it, or moving on to another pale blue dot. It’s a grim debate that some scientists say it’s time to have.
It’s been more than a year since we first started following China’s project to build artificial islands in contested areas of the South China Sea, setting off what could properly be called a diplomatic shit storm. Today, China reassured the world that it’s almost done, alright?
This music video from British-based music producer and remix artist Jamie XX for his song Gosh has captivated me all week. It takes a minute for the slow journey to Mars to sink in, and watching Mars turn slowly below as it’s terraformed makes for a beautiful video.
A remote archipelago in the South China Sea has come under an extraordinary amount of scrutiny lately. Here, China is building up small reefs and atolls into whole artificial islands—all in hotly disputed territory. In the clearest sign yet of its military intentions, one of those islands now has an airstrip.
It seems strange that a remote patch of water would become the focus of international controversy and millions of dollars worth of infrastructure. But that’s exactly what’s happening in the South China Sea right now.
The key to the human race’s future may be right beneath our feet. It sounds bizarre, but fungi better known as mushrooms can help solve many of society’s greatest challenges, from cleaning up the environment and living more sustainability to colonizing other planets.
Mars. The most tantalizing of all planets, with mountains three times as tall as Mount Everest and canyons 2,485 miles long and four miles deep. Our next stop in our return to the stars. And possibly our next home.