My world is covered in a black stonelike material which is similar in structure to coral, being that it's highly-porous but not formed in the same way. The (non)water on my world, which is (currently) trisilane, can flow through the material with ease, and I have the idea that it flows underneath the surface to a point in which there is a different material that is not as porous, and therefore creates the true "bottom" of the ocean. This idea is not fully-formed.

You could also compare it to volcanic rock.

Islands are low-lying raised instances of this material in which these plants and their fellow living creatures would survive.

The way I define plants in this question would be "living organisms which form roots in the ground and sprout upward". They are intelligent and feeling, and can move flexibly (though slowly) to avoid predation or unnecessary touching. That is, if they can even survive in this environment.

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    $\begingroup$ A few more details please. Tell us more about the black coral. Where is it from? is it alive? The oceans, what are they made of if not water. do they cover 100% of the surface? How deep are these oceans at their shallowest point? $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Apr 29, 2017 at 21:58
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    – Secespitus
    Apr 29, 2017 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ Where is it from? Good question! I actually haven't thought much about it, as I'd need to learn more about how rocky planets form. My apologies. As for its status, alive or not, it isn't. The oceans were suggested to be made of trisilane, as I was seeking an alternative to carbon-based terrain and life. The atmosphere is, then, likewise silicon-based but yet unknown. There are sporadic islands and, at the shallowest, the oceans are probably less than a metre deep. $\endgroup$
    – Feliks
    Apr 29, 2017 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Secespitus ... I'll get on that! $\endgroup$
    – Feliks
    Apr 29, 2017 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ This really doesn't sound like an especially difficult environment for sessile life forms. Why do they seem implausible enough to you to require explanation? What do they need that they have trouble getting? Explaining their intelligence will be more difficult... $\endgroup$
    – Beta
    Apr 29, 2017 at 23:31

3 Answers 3


On earth, Lichens can grow on bare rock — and in the process slowly create soil from the (slowly dissolved) rock and themselves. Lichens are actually two organisms in a symbiotic relationship, an alga and a fungus. See:

If your world has (functional analogs of) algae and fungi, I posit that eventually they'd end up forming the functional equivalent of lichens, and would slowly dissolve the surface rock into soil usable by conventional plants.


Stone itself is not a barrier to plant life, plants can get their nutrients from what is in the water. You get shrubs that will grow on lava fields wherever they can get a grip.

But water is the key problem, water is essential for life, not just because it's water, but because all sorts of essential ingredients are soluble and can be carried in it and later retrieved. If our oceans were pure water no life would have evolved at all.

So having oceans of trisilane is your biggest problem, not the rock.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I hadn't considered that at all! I need to find a workaround then, if possible. I might have to end up tweaking the biology of the life itself. $\endgroup$
    – Feliks
    Apr 29, 2017 at 23:34

With great difficulty, there's a reason they call land like this Hell

You can't walk on it without heavy shoes, each edge is razor sharp. You can't build on it without modern tech so no infrastructure early on.

Land based life would initially be limited as each Individual area would be cut off from the whole - this could lead to a bigger variety of animal kingdoms.

I can see any large creatures evolving, as they would have the transport issues and as soon as they were bigger than the holes in the land they would be perpetually exposed..

Without breaking the stone down, trees will be limited by what they can access in terms of water.. stunting growth as well.

All in all, sounds like a horrible place! I will not be booking a ticket


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