When I was younger I came up with a creature that seemed to contradict itself. It was made of some frozen material, but it had a large back fin in order to get warmth from the sun. I'm revisiting the idea, and wondering if such a creature would actually work, and what it might be made of.

If it can't be ice then what about a material that melts at a lower temperature? What's one that would melt at the temperature and pressure that we're used to and could work for life?

The planet it lives on has ammonia oceans, chlorine atmosphere, lower temperature than Earth's, and high enough atmospheric pressure that the mineral olivine can form on the surface.

  • $\begingroup$ Edits cannot invalidate existing answers $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jan 25 at 20:07
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica I've done it plenty of times before and nobody told me it was wrong. Should I make a new question every time I want to alter the question slightly? $\endgroup$ – Chickenpeep Chickenpeep Jan 25 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ I say it once more: edits shall not invalidate existing answers. Nor shall make the question too broad. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jan 25 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica it does not invalidate existing answers. It adds on to it by saying "if ice won't work, then what will?" Asking what element or compound has certain qualities does not make it too broad $\endgroup$ – Chickenpeep Chickenpeep Jan 25 at 21:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @michaelgriffin we elected L.Dutch as moderator (note the diamond beside nir name) to enforce such rules. If you’ve done it before, please stop. Chickenpeep: yes, ask a new question. $\endgroup$ – SRM Jan 26 at 4:51

"frozen materials", however you put them, are solid.

Solid state is pretty unfavorable for life: diffusion is pretty slow in solid state, and to carry on all the chemistry related to life you need the right reactant at the right moment in the right place.

Only based on the above I would therefore state that no, no living thing can be based on frozen material. You need some sort of solution, and that requires a fluid state.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ any such lifeform would have to be manufactured instead of grown and use some funky solid state nervous system and electromagnetically actuated servos. Basically it would be a robot built by its parents, and I can’t think of a natural way for such a thing to evolve... $\endgroup$ – Joe Bloggs Jan 25 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ I meant like only partly made of solid ice. Like we are made of both solid and liquid materials. This creature would still have blood and stuff. $\endgroup$ – Chickenpeep Chickenpeep Jan 25 at 19:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ damn solid life is impossible? dang. guess that invalidates the entirety of life on earth. $\endgroup$ – michael griffin Jan 25 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ i'm just joking of course, but honestly i'd suggest changing it to "completely solid" instead of a "solid state" $\endgroup$ – michael griffin Jan 25 at 21:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.