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Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own, by David Toomey

Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own, by David Toomey

Regular price €15.00 Sale price €5.00

Science that sounds like science fiction.

In recent years, scientists have hypothesized life-forms that can only be called "weird": organisms that live off acid rather than water, microbes that thrive at temperatures and pressure levels so extreme that their cellular structures should break down, perhaps even organisms that reproduce without DNA. Some of these strange life-forms, unrelated to all life we know, might be nearby: on rock surfaces in the American southwest, hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, or even in our own bodies. Some, stranger still, might live in Martian permafrost, swim in the dark oceans of Jupiter's moons, or survive in the exotic ices on comets.  Others — the strangest of all — might inhabit the crusts of neutron stars, interstellar nebulae, or even other spatial dimensions.

Distilling complex science in clear and lively prose, David Toomey illuminates the research of the biological avant-garde and describes the workings of weird organisms in riveting detail. His chapters feature an unforgettable cast of brilliant scientists and cover everything from problems with our definitions of life to the possibility of intelligent weird life. With wit and understanding that will delight scientists and lay readers alike, Toomey reveals how our current knowledge of life forms may account for only a tiny fraction of what’s really out there.


“A breakneck tour through natural history, encounters of an impossible kind, researchers as weird as the organisms they pursue that leads the reader to wonder where science ends and fantasy begins.” — Richard Fortey, New York Times Book Review

“Conveys these far-out theories with precision and humor.” — Jascha Hoffman, New York Times