So, there are several questions on this site about gas giants. In particular, I am mostly building off of this one:

Could a gas giant with layer similar to Earth atmosphere exist?

This question seems to suggest that, if a gas giant contained large amounts of nitrogen and carbon-dioxide, it might form a "habitable layer" of sorts beneath all the hydrogen... with one caveat.

In order for there to be free oxygen, there need to be a large amount of living things producing that oxygen, and they need various minerals and chemical elements heavier than the other gasses.

Fortunately, in my story, there already exists a potential solution: Floatstones. These are small to large magic crystal structures that produce an anti-gravity force when an electric current flows through them.

MY general idea is that these floatstones would exist in an "electrosphere" below the habitable layer (or aerosphere), and just above a metallic-rocky core, where natural electric currents periodically cause massive floatstones to rise into the habitable layer, taking large chunks of rock with them. Some mechanism holds the charge in place for a few thousand years (either some sort of natural battery, or, failing that, a property of the floatstones themselves), resulting in floating islands that periodically rise from the core, float for a couple thousand years, and then sink back into the abyss.

With the proper foundation, I figure some sort of life form might evolve to grow on these rocks, produce oxygen, and then produce millions of floating offspring before the electric charge fades and the rock sinks back into the core.

So, my question is how feasible is this? What forces could create an electrosphere that would energize the floatstones? Is there a way natural batteries could form, allowing the floatstones to stay up for a few thousand years without me adding a hacky property into the floatstones themselves? Would a Gas Giant close enough to it's star that the atmospheric layer of roughly 1 bar of pressure corresponds with the layer warm enough for liquid rain to fall have some other property I wasn't aware of that precludes the entire system from existing?

Also, if the system is feasible, what other notable properties would appear? what would be the circumference of the habitable layer be? how would the presence of a hydrogen-helium upper atmosphere affect life in the aerosphere? What about the denser gasses below?


1 Answer 1


There might be a mechanism allowing current to flow in the stones for long times: galvanic corrosion.

Galvanic corrosion (also called bimetallic corrosion or dissimilar metal corrosion) is an electrochemical process in which one metal corrodes preferentially when it is in electrical contact with another, in the presence of an electrolyte.

Floatstones are rich in sulfur. While the galvanic corrosion turns sulfur into H2S, reducing bacteria on the surface of the floatstones reduce the H2S to sulfur, restarting the cycle.

Those bacteria are the foundation of the floatstone food chain, and the current lasts as long the cycle is not broken, either by exhaustion of the elements oxidizing the sulfur or by overfeeding on the reducing bacteria.


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