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The quest to identify potentially life-harbouring exoplanets has, thus far, been dominated by a search for Earth-like worlds. However, some scientists believe that so-called ‘Hycean’ planets – up to 10 times larger than Earth, 90 per cent water by mass, and with oceans perhaps thousands of kilometres deep – could potentially host life deep below their surface. And while, at the moment, Hycean worlds are still just hypothetical, researchers predict they could be far more numerous in our galaxy than Earth-like planets. In this short animation, the US filmmaker John D Boswell (also known as Melodysheep) deploys his trademark melding of riveting CGI, dreamy electronica, hard science and pure speculation to explore the contours and composition of these potential worlds, and ponder what life forms might exist inside their waters.
Video by Melodysheep
Technology and the self
Greetings from Green Bank – the small town where modern technology is banned
Far from frivolous, cuteness is a powerful – and still mysterious – force of nature
Thinkers and theories
Is simulation theory a way to shirk responsibility for the world we’ve created?
A dazzling slice-by-slice exploration of wood exposes hidden patterns and hues
Modern architecture should embrace – not ignore or repel – the nonhuman world
Philosophy of mind
We may never settle the ‘free will’ debate, but tapping into it is still worthwhile
Ecology and environmental sciences
In an ancient English rainforest, John creates charcoal and cultivates growth
Information and communication
Mapping data visualisation’s meteoric rise from Victorian London to today
What are you really seeing when you see magnificent images of space?