Join 3,431 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Life on Pluto - Details on Page 97.
September 20, 2012 5:53 AM   Subscribe

What lives where in the Solar System. Fantastic Adventure covers from 1939/40 depicting the kind of lifeforms they think each planet can support.

So so wrong on Venus.
posted by marienbad (63 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
I dunno, the Mercury inhabitants have a very hungry way of greeting the astronaut.
posted by Kitteh at 5:56 AM on September 20, 2012


clearly the secret of interplanetary travel is Brylcreem
posted by The Whelk at 5:57 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Science says"
Hoo boy.

I especially like the part where the air on Uranus is poisonous ... to creatures that evolved there. Although the happy swimming society of Venus is pretty good, too. And the gravity on Jupiter is crushing, but with a tractor humans can motor around, no sweat. Gravity-proof tractors, brought to you by the wonders of Bakelite®.
posted by 1adam12 at 6:04 AM on September 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I especially like the part where the air on Uranus is poisonous...

Depends when you check, but it's a decent bet. Particularly in the last couple days, because I've been eating a lot of lentil soup.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:08 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hah, that's great. Particularly amusing: green fields, mountains, and buildings. On Jupiter.
posted by Malor at 6:10 AM on September 20, 2012


I always thought Klingons inhabited Uranus.

I'll show myself the door, now.
posted by fijiwriter at 6:12 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


How odd that almost all the other inhabitants of the solar system are nudists.
posted by raincrow at 6:14 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


this is pretty much spot on
posted by camdan at 6:15 AM on September 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: Life, says science, logically can only exist in insect form.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:16 AM on September 20, 2012


IO is not a planet, but Earth is.

IO was included, but Earth wasn't.

The inhabitants of Earth are so weird that even science-fiction illustrators are, like, "fuck it. No one would believe THAT."
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:20 AM on September 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love the fact that he's carrying a lever action rifle with a wooden stock on the surface of IO.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:23 AM on September 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm just relieved that no matter how different they are, they still have a face.
posted by cccorlew at 6:26 AM on September 20, 2012


"Being the most advanced creature in the solar system, he carries an atomic rifle, the result of greater science knowledge."

Lovely. Thanks for this post. Industry, science, and technology! Big men putting screwdrivers into things, turning them, and adjusting them!
posted by Rock Steady at 6:29 AM on September 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


But do we really know these aren't correct?
posted by mazola at 6:41 AM on September 20, 2012


You're gonna need a bigger caterpiller-tracked cake stand for Jupiter
posted by thelonius at 6:43 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, mazola, if you can show us the fields, mountains, and buildings on Jupiter, a Nobel prize is a certainty.
posted by Malor at 6:46 AM on September 20, 2012


What the heck, human on Venus. Don't take your helmet off! It's all carbon dioxide out there, and the air is like 864 degrees! Put some sleeves on. At least your boots are suited to clomping around on the terrain on the surface.
posted by postcommunism at 6:54 AM on September 20, 2012


Shame we ate them all. In all honesty they do look delicious.
posted by deo rei at 7:02 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like how on Venus the Venusians also believe in the traditional family with a demure female holding her adorable newt-child while the male does the important business of talking to the human visitor.
posted by emjaybee at 7:03 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


twoleftfeet: The inhabitants of Earth are so weird that even science-fiction illustrators are, like, "fuck it. No one would believe THAT."

It is their near-infinite adapability that have allowed the hairless Hyoo-min apes of Planet Earth to rise to dominance over the multitude of other animals that roam the fertile jungles and plains of this watery world. Dextrous forelimbs and a bipedal stance allow these creatures to develop and use tools like spears, knives, AK-47s, and iPhones to control and modify their environment. Emminently social, the Hyoo-mins gather in massive hives ruled by wise elders, where they can mate, raise young, and attend rock concerts.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:07 AM on September 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Gotta love the lever action rifle in that second picture... Space meets cowboy indeed.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:14 AM on September 20, 2012


Not quite H.R. Geiger's vision of alien life. And what's up with the Earthman's BB Gun?
posted by February28 at 7:19 AM on September 20, 2012


I love abandoned SF concepts. Also, like many modern SF tropes, jungle Venus and canal Mars persisted in fiction way after they had lost all plausibility.
posted by Artw at 7:20 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


The suction cups on the martian are the best. On what natural surface other than ice would these be considered an advantage?
posted by MangyCarface at 7:22 AM on September 20, 2012


I'm just relieved that no matter how different they are, they still have a face.

And, in the case of Jupiter, Uranus, and Venus, also wear lipstick.
posted by Nomyte at 7:25 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


That IS an Elder Thing on Saturn, isn't it?
posted by charred husk at 7:40 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


No cnidaria-ques lifeforms? I'm disappointed. Bugs, yes. Fish, yes. Amphibians, yes. Furry penguins, yes. But no jellyfish?

Jellyfish poop out of the same opening they eat through. That ought to qualify as alien-worthy.
posted by lineofsight at 7:50 AM on September 20, 2012


Can we start a serious petition to change the name of Uranus? I don't have numbers to back this up, but it seems like it's getting the short shrift, in terms of funding for research and exploration, because of its silly-sounding name. Even just changing the name to a more faithful transcription of the Ancient Greek—Ouranos—would be a massive improvement.
posted by aparrish at 7:53 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm up for going with "Zeus" instead of "Jupiter", "Aphrodite" over "Venus" and so on, while we're at it.
posted by thelonius at 8:03 AM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Urectum?
posted by Nomyte at 8:04 AM on September 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Heh. Life on Uranus. Heh. Heh.

I, too, will show myself out...
posted by bpm140 at 8:09 AM on September 20, 2012


Ah! This reminds me of the National Geographic book Our Universe from the late70's, which had a section riffing on the idea of aliens in the solar system. Here is a post from some forum where a guy took photos of a few of the pages. The floating, watermelon-colored inhabitants of Jupiter really blew my mind back in the day.
posted by kernel_sander at 8:14 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can we start a serious petition to change the name of Uranus?

It happens before the year 3000, but it's changed to Urectum.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:32 AM on September 20, 2012


This reminds me of the National Geographic book Our Universe from the late70's, which had a section riffing on the idea of aliens in the solar system.

I can't tell you how many times I checked that book out of my middle school library to flip to the aliens in the back. So amazing.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:41 AM on September 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like how most of the aliens are doing a "Yo, man, what's up?" pose.
posted by brundlefly at 8:44 AM on September 20, 2012


So happy to see these images again! I had a book of old pulp sci-fi art when I was a kid that included this entire spread. I think my grandmother sold it at a yard sale along with my vintage hardback of Cosmos and my Star Wars Droid Factory.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:14 AM on September 20, 2012


this is pretty much spot on

Don’t tell them how you know, just let them snark.
posted by bongo_x at 9:18 AM on September 20, 2012


Did we already make the "life on Uranus" jokes?
posted by Artw at 9:20 AM on September 20, 2012


this is pretty much spot on

Actually, only Jupiter has a spot on.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:34 AM on September 20, 2012


Metafilter: A world of eternal twilight most likely inhabited by winged bat-people with heavy protecting fur.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:35 AM on September 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


LIFE ON PLUTO

This world of cold and eternal twilight would most likely be inhabited by winged bat people with heavy protecting fur. Details on page 97


Look, haters, they're not saying this is definitely what lives there, just what is most likely.

The details are on page 97.
posted by univac at 9:35 AM on September 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


I like how most of the aliens are doing a "Yo, man, what's up?" pose. . . .

I love abandoned SF concepts. . . .


Like World(s) Peace?
 
posted by Herodios at 9:43 AM on September 20, 2012


Oh thats doable. Wings above the world!
posted by Artw at 9:45 AM on September 20, 2012


I've written a witty and clever comment on this link.

The details are on page 97.
posted by panboi at 9:53 AM on September 20, 2012


Dude! The Tick lives on Pluto!
posted by Spatch at 10:09 AM on September 20, 2012


Are you saying that the Zsa Zsa Gabor classic Queen of Outer Space is in some way less than correct in its depiction of native Venusians?
posted by ckape at 10:47 AM on September 20, 2012


So, is he going to eat those Ionian penquins? Or What?

Anyhow, everybody knows the quadrats on Jupiter don't use stairs on account of the gravity. They have escalators.

I loved this stuff when I was a kid. Really. I was so disappointed about Venus. I thought I might be able to go there when I grew up, get a swamp buggy, start a little trading post near Bradbury Station, marry a green lady and settle down. Life is filled with disappointments.
posted by mule98J at 11:02 AM on September 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is reminiscent (or, because of the publication dates, prescient) of the Walt Disney short "Mars and Beyond". Disney's concept(s) of lifeforms on Mars can be found, as can all good things, on the YouTubes.
posted by hanov3r at 11:55 AM on September 20, 2012


As a result of their greater scientific knowledge, the men from Mars use a impecabbly tailored angora sweater to show off their magnificent man-boobs and to draw attention away from their somewhat largish ears.
posted by digsrus at 12:28 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the real tragedy of the Curiosity: that we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Mars is not populated by pop-eyed freakaoids who look like Ed Roth had a bad day. On the other hand, it's not like that sucker is exploring the entire planet. Maybe just off camera those things are living it up. We can dream.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:22 PM on September 20, 2012


Urectum?

You bought 'em.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:40 PM on September 20, 2012


I guess, in the future, only human men are allowed to visit the other planets.
posted by hot_monster at 3:04 PM on September 20, 2012


It's a damn shame that this isn't the way the solar system really is. Life would be a lot more interesting.
posted by Alexander Hatchell at 3:54 PM on September 20, 2012


I definitely like the way Jupiter's immense gravity cannot penetrate the Earthman's magic tractor. It must be made of some Cavorite-based material.
posted by Decani at 4:17 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


the men from Mars use a impecabbly tailored angora sweater to show off their magnificent man-boobs

Just goes to show what a steady diet of cars, bars, and guitars will lead to (get up!).
posted by hangashore at 4:18 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


evidently the only way to travel the stars is in your Gumby Suit or in the Popemobile.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:31 PM on September 20, 2012


watching that mars & beyond clip, i imagine that walt disney probably did not later apologize for mentioning evolution in a scientific context. and this was 1957.
posted by camdan at 10:26 PM on September 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


kernel_sander: "This reminds me of the National Geographic book Our Universe from the late70's, which had a section riffing on the idea of aliens in the solar system."

Yes, had that as a kid! Great book.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:41 AM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Decani: I definitely like the way Jupiter's immense gravity cannot penetrate the Earthman's magic tractor. It must be made of some Cavorite-based material.

You seem to be unaware of inertial dampeners. They are mandatory on any spaceship that's not shaped like a wagon wheel. Adapting them to Jupicrawlers (Tm), is a simple thing.
posted by mule98J at 9:41 AM on September 21, 2012


Mars is not populated by pop-eyed freakaoids who look like Ed Roth had a bad day.

What, did you think Rat Fink was a self-portrait?
 
posted by Herodios at 12:00 PM on September 21, 2012


That IS an Elder Thing on Saturn, isn't it?

A whole family, vacationing for the summer aeons. Altho when they travel the beyonds, they sew patchs of the Yuggoth flag on their backpacks so that folks don't give them a hard time for their rep as crap tourists who leave bio-alchemical waste servitors lying around every time they set up a picnic site.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:46 PM on September 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


FatherDagon?

Eponysterical!
posted by Mezentian at 5:12 PM on September 21, 2012


I'm guessing that the thought process for Pluto was something like 'So it's the darkest planet, eh? What likes the dark? I know, bats!'.
posted by Lucien Dark at 5:09 AM on September 23, 2012


« Older Franco Fiorito, also known as Batman, is the (ex) ...  |  How not to write comics critic... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments