But these guys are so lovely-- so weird. We don't need to leave this planet ever. The alien life forms are right here. We have work ahead for many centuries, just to figure out the ones that live nearby. (I mean, for God's sake, we don't even know what is new with pussycats!)
Check this out:
So, he takes the genes from the algae, and uses them to collect sunlight, as if he were a plant. He is not a plant. And in so doing he comes to look like a leaf. Form follows function. If you are doing what leaves do, you will look like a leaf after a while because leaves look that way to better do their job.
He looks like a cabbage leaf to me. He has never seen a cabbage leaf, never will. To me that is as awesome as the idea of him stealing the genes.
Also this makes my heart warm because it comes out of Woods Hole, which is a place I know very well. It is the place where 'Off Island' and the big world begins for me. It is the last place, going the other way, before Home begins. It is a place to ready yourself for what comes next in either direction. It is just an extra that it is a world research center.
My mother's friend worked there. She and mom had been teenagers together at Northfield. Ms Bunce (always called 'Bean' by mom,) once let me hold a core sample from the Marianas Trench. It was just a rock.I guess that is kind of the point after all though. I remember Bean as looking just as pictured here. She was small and quick, active and kind. Here is a thing about her.
At the time I did not think of her as extrordinary. But reading about her now, I am given pause. How many doors did she have to push open to do what she did, to go where she went? I was lucky to have met her.