Every once in a long time do we encounter something that is so new, so profound, and so fascinating as a completely new type of life form. An entirely new branch on the tree of life has just sprouted in front of our eyes. This is a discovery of living cells (bacterium) that eats electricity directly. Think of Dr Frankenstein’s finest creation only 3 or 4 micrometres in length. Science has known bacteria to survive on a variety of energy sources, but none as weird as this. Experiments growing bacteria on battery electrodes demonstrate that these novel, mind-boggling forms of life are essentially eating and excreting electricity.
Kenneth Nealson at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles has stated.
“We know that life when you boil it right down is a flow of electrons… You eat sugars that have excess electrons, and you breathe in oxygen that willingly takes them. Our cells break down the sugars, and the electrons flow through them in a complex set of chemical reactions until they are passed on to electron-hungry oxygen…The discovery of electric bacteria shows that some very basic forms of life can do away with sugary middlemen and handle the energy in its purest form – electrons, harvested from the surface of minerals. It is truly foreign, you know. In a sense alien. Now that science has the right mindset and eyes to see it has identified up to eight different kinds of bacteria that consume electricity. All very different from each other…This is huge. What it means is that there’s a whole part of the microbial world that we don’t know anything about.”
It must be made clear that Nealson does not mean extraterrestrial life when he uses the term “alien”. It is an illustrative description of just how different this new discovery of electricity breathing life is.
NASA is intently interested in this discovery. A life that lives deep underground is of importance to them because such organisms often survive on very little energy and they may suggest modes of life in other parts of the solar system and beyond.
New possibilities of life have just opened up. By the way, the scientists are discussing this new discovery makes is seem like these things are all over our subsurface Earth. Have they just been overlooked throughout the entire breadth of microbiology? Possibly! Is this an example of things being right in front of your eyes but you can’t see it because you are not entertaining the possibilities. Possibly! Maybe science was not ready to see and entertain this exotic form of life until now. Possibly! I am inclined to think it is not a conspiracy of any kind but is a prime example of intellectual and scientific tunnel vision at its finest.
I am all about the possibilities in the Universe. We know so little about the true nature of anything that sometimes all we have are ideas of possibilities. These what-ifs are what drives research and intellectual advancement. We really know almost next to nothing about our place in the Universe. Since the discovery of electricity eating life is now not science fiction, but science fact. It is time for a new discussion of what is possible in the Universe. The discovery of such paradigm breaking life forms has profound implications.
I am a firm believer that our planet is not unique in any way. Nothing we have here is only here and nowhere else. All the building blocks we know that make up our pale blue dot are seen in spectroscopy of near and distant stars. All the elemental building blocks of what makes us us are found billions of light years away in the light of stars. I am extrapolating that life abounds in the Universe in near infinite diversity. But life nonetheless. Add in for intellectual candy the extra 8 dimensions of M-Theory and the possibility of parallel Universes. The types of life that may exist makes my monkey brain explode.
Since the discovery of electricity-eating bacteria. It has made me think that these electron eaters is a life that has evolved like all other life forms have. Meaning that natural selection has guided their evolutionary development. Let’s hypothesize and run the aeons of evolutionary time forward, what might this bacterium eventually evolve into? They may have been the first life forms on Earth. The five or six mass extinction events that Earth has suffered has totally wiped away any record of our meagre beginnings. What if these electricity eaters existed billions of years ago. This bacterium could have had billions of years head start on anything you may think of as alive today. With that kind of potential head start, what kind of entity might the countless generations of evolution bring?
As life evolves it becomes more complex in relation to the environment they are part of. Over time could these electricity eaters evolve the ability to digest electromagnetic energy as well as electrons directly? There would be benefits of digesting EM energy over direct electrons. Mobility which has great survival advantage is one that comes to mind. So over time, a mobile creature that feeds on electricity and electromagnetic radiation comes about. For a creature like that, the Earth would be a near perfect home. On our planet Lightning strikes reach the ground on Earth as much as 8 million times per day or 100 times per second, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory. For creatures that consume raw electricity that is a mighty large dinner bell that never stops ringing.
In modern times we have orders of magnitude more of EM bouncing around our planet than ever before. Radio\Radar\Television\WiFi has made us a very EM polluted planet. It is around all of us every day from cradle to grave. If your eyes could see this radiation, your world would appear to be illuminated, even at night. It would stream in through your windows, and probably through your walls and ceilings too. It would not help much too close your eyelids. You would still see it!
Could all the glowing balls of light we currently call UFO be these creatures cruising around our skies? Picture a flame in a bell jar. If you introduce pure oxygen into the bell jar the flame will grow brighter and be very energetic. It is getting the fuel it burns best. Are these UFO glowing orbs glowing because they are gorging and are engorged in our strong EM polluted atmosphere? Burning brightly like the highly oxygenated flame. This goes against the firmly entrenched extraterrestrial hypothesis. As we learn more and more about what is possible in our Universe the nuts and bolt theory of UFO’s seems less and less likely to be the only explanation. Even less and less the likely cause of the UFO/UAP enigma.
This could also account for the interest in our nuclear weapon and nuclear energy sites. Highly purified plutonium and uranium derivatives may be like a steak and lobster dinner to them. They could sense and smell (for lack of a better word) the plutonium but could not get to it. Keep in mind these are biological entities, not magical ones.
These hypothetical creatures fit some of the major points of this unknown enigma. Give this idea more than just a few clock cycles of inquisitive thought.
With creatures like what we are hypothesizing could also explain some aspects of the Paranormal enigma as well. In almost every culture there are accounts of creatures that feed on us. Creatures that apparently feed on our intense manifestations of fear or joy. Extreme emotions such as profound fear or profound joy may generate an EM field that is something they like. These things could account for what has been called energy feeding entities. Up to now, these things have been filtered through the mindset and language of religion and spirituality. Now we may have a better more accurate vocabulary to describe these emotional consuming parasites. A large portion of the paranormal may be manifestations of creatures like this.
I have a hard time thinking of ways they can directly cause strife and ill will on the planet. I think us humans can create all the pain and suffering on our own that these things might find so tasty. These things may be more than just reactive non-thinking entities. They may have developed their own form of intelligence over time. Who knows, this is all at best a hypothesis.
Being a scientist I am a firm believer in the assumption that there is nothing beyond our ability to understand given enough time. This discovery of electron eating life fills in and gives us at least a plausible explanation of something that previously was only under the purview of religion and spirituality. Bizarre…Yes!. Strange and disturbing…Yes! But it is just another branch of our weird and wonderful tree of life. This kind of electricity eating life may be all over the Cosmos when conditions are right like they are here.
In Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. Hamlet suggests that human knowledge is limited: “There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy” There has never been a time in our short history where this is truer.
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