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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Life in the clouds

5 minutes

How airborne microbes ride clouds, hop continents and even make it rain

Everywhere that scientists look, they seem to be finding creatures clinging to life in increasingly remote environments – from Antarctic ice to boiling hydrothermal vents at the bottom of oceans. However, biologists have only recently begun paying close attention to one of the planet’s most fascinating venues for life: the sky. A collaboration between the US filmmaker Flora Lichtman and the California Academy of Sciences’ digital publication bioGraphic, the short film Life in the Clouds examines the complex and utterly fascinating ecosystems far above our heads.

Director: Flora Lichtman

Producer: Annette Heist

Website: Sweet Fern Productions

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

Essay/Earth Science
Life goes deeper

The Earth is not a solid mass of rock: its hot, dark, fractured subsurface is home to weird and wonderful life forms

Gaetan Borgonie & Maggie Lau