The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: An Ocean of Jelly  (Read 2793 times)

Offline silversurfer

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
An Ocean of Jelly
« on: 10/03/2009 00:37:40 »
   At some point long ago life on Earth consisted mainly of one celled organisms floating in the ocean.  Their ancestors go back even farther until, in the beginning, there was perhaps only one cell.  Itís also possible that several or even many cells came into existence at the same time.  After all, the conditions that would form one cell could just as well form a million cells.  At any rate, cell division began to occur and the population grew.  And this was life on Earth for over a billion years.  One cell became two; two became four, and so on.  Anyone familiar with the story of getting paid a penny for one dayís work and doubling it every day thereafter will understand the magnitude of a geometric progression.  This was happening in the ocean, except that it went on for eons.
   If you give a cell all day to divide and multiply then a new generation comes about every day.  After millions of years the biomass of these cells would increase until they became a measurable percentage of the oceanís water.  These cells would begin to fill up the ocean.  If they reached a point after billions of years where the ocean water consisted of 1% organisms and 99% water, in seven days it would become 100% cells.  It would be an ocean of protoplasmic jelly.
   Within this planet sized mass of cells mutations would take place.  When you have a full ocean of cells, it is guaranteed that cosmic rays will connect with many more than if there were just a few scattered cells floating around.  Here is where diversity starts to form.  All the prototypes of the plant and animal kingdom could begin in the tightly packed ocean.  Within this mass the beginnings of teeth, fins, feet, roots, and leaves could all take place. With a jelly like surface, there is no need for a sterile land mass to promote surface dwellers.  They could learn to walk on top of the jelly and eventually just stroll off the jelly and onto land.  There is no need to search for fossil records of awkward transitional animals.  They were on the land long before any recognizable animal form managed to entomb itself in rock. 
   But some of them could have been entombed.  Due to tectonic action, huge amounts of this protoplasmic jelly could be trapped between layers of the Earthís crust.  Buried under heat and pressure for millennia, this jelly would be a much more likely source of petroleum oil than a pile of crushed leaves and dinosaur bodies.


 

Offline Vern

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2072
    • View Profile
    • Photonics
An Ocean of Jelly
« Reply #1 on: 10/03/2009 10:53:37 »
Something like that may have happened, but I doubt that evolution would have progressed further than generating those traits needed to flourish in that environment. The jelly you imagine is close to the substance we suspect that crude oil came from. Plankton would resemble the jelly of your postulate wouldn't it? :)
« Last Edit: 10/03/2009 11:39:16 by Vern »
 

blakestyger

  • Guest
An Ocean of Jelly
« Reply #2 on: 10/03/2009 15:01:13 »
Even simple cells require nutrients to reproduce - after a while the nutrients run out or the whole system becomes poisoned by its own waste products. That would happen before the sea became a jelly.
 

Offline silversurfer

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
An Ocean of Jelly
« Reply #3 on: 15/03/2009 18:21:17 »
When the nutrients run out they will start eating each other, hence the teeth and armor developments.  And  one cell's trash is another cell's treasure.
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
An Ocean of Jelly
« Reply #4 on: 15/03/2009 23:36:02 »
Cells can eat each other at the single cell level. Predation doesn't need multi-celled organisms to evolve before they evolve to feed on each other.
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12001
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
An Ocean of Jelly
« Reply #5 on: 18/03/2009 00:46:24 »
I like it, from a cinematic perspective it has a lot of qualities.
(BBC could make a program on it, David Attenborough perhaps?)
Especially when those first land based animals shake themselves loose from that jelly to walk ashore.
 

Offline Vern

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2072
    • View Profile
    • Photonics
An Ocean of Jelly
« Reply #6 on: 20/03/2009 15:36:32 »
I can visualize a slowly morphing image that eventually converges to become recognizable every-day life forms. It might make a good movie.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

An Ocean of Jelly
« Reply #6 on: 20/03/2009 15:36:32 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums