And Now For Something Completely-Different:
Let’s get weird for a sec.
I know we can all get caught up in the day-to-day, chore-like subsistence very easily.
And it’s also easy to get distracted from life itself by the little digital devil on your shoulder; that infinite social-addiction we call “smart”-phones.
But a recent cosmic discovery is another reminder of how special each and every one of us is.
But first, a little history…
Get Your Head Out Of Your To-Do List For A Minute:
So, forget your current circumstances and existence; forget your recent-past,
Forget your lifetime.
Forget your immediate and extended family.
Forget even your family lineage back as far as any grampaw/grammaw ever traced it.
And Let Your Mind Go Back In Time:
You go back much further, WAY further.
Through a series of events, each so improbable they should basically be called “impossible”, the Sun, planets, and Earth formed.
And after more than 3.7 Billion years of living things on Earth, all of us eventually came into being.
Think Back Past 2 Or 4 Million Years Of Humans & Apes:
And even in the relatively “short” period of time, between the 2-4 Million years that something vaguely Human/Ape-shaped has been walking around the planet,
Yet another long list of very-chancy events led to your existence in The Now.
You are impossible, yet here you stand.
But even before that, before this planet even existed,
Every Single Speck Of Life Started-Out In The Heart Of A Star:
Eventually that star then became a supernova & threw every single atom that is you across the universe.
And thanks to some reasonably-fancy math by PhysicsCentral, the actual number turns out to be about 93% (by weight) of you is made of stardust. (they don’t count the Hydrogen)
And Just Recently, !SCIENCE! Made 2 More Discoveries:
1) Clouds of dust including all the basic building-blocks of life have recently been found circling close to brand-new stars.
and 2) Tons of complicated organic molecules and even Components of DNA have also been verified to travel from one side of the universe to the other on Comets.
This also includes many of the building blocks necessary to create life, including the only piece of DNA that can be formed without water.
The discovery was so surprising to the scientists, they thought all their samples were contaminated until they double-checked.
Magic Supernova Dust Likes Hanging Out, Practices Welding:
So all this space-traveling solid-stuff that comes from the dust of stars eventually stuck together in bunches & formed planets.
And with that mass, they could attract & retain lighter stuff like gases that eventually form an atmosphere, but would be otherwise blown-away by solar “winds” if they were too close to a star.
A lot of those basic gases combined to form compounds, one of them was a heavy one that sticks to the planet surface: Water.
And not only did different compounds start mixing around on the land & especially in that liquid,
Comets & Planets, Like Chocolate & Peanut-Butter:
But, -PLOT TWIST!- those planets got hit by COMETS!
And long ago, this was LOTS of comets! -Many of which, along with all the biological-chemistry set they carried, were also big chunks of ICE!
-Like God having a snowball-fight with the galaxy.
And all those compounds & DNA-components the Comets had didn’t just combine with stuff on planets like Earth,
They MASSIVELY jumpstarted the process of life!
Life Gets Jumpstarted By a BIG Snowball-Fight:
Planet Earth didn’t really have to invent its own compounds & DNA-components,
Because the comets brought them along on their space-vacation like seeds into a new garden,
Creating all kinds of new chain-reactions in response to their introduction on the planet. -Ones that either would not have happened at-all, or would have taken much longer.
And so little by little, over innumerable tiny steps of increasing complexity, one type of magical supernova-dust combined with something else with its own type of magic,
And started the elemental code of life,
which became evolution,
which became humans,
and Finally: Everything we are Today,
Hence, You really are made from stars, supernovas & comets!
You Are A Miracle, Even When Your Mom’s Not There To Say It:
So when you get a moment and can maybe stop all the modern digital life-noise,
Just sit here on this funny little collection of stardust we call Earth,
Maybe kick-in some sweet Mindfulness Meditation,
And think about everything out there in the night sky we originally come from,
That magic stuff that passed through the light of a thousand suns, auroras that make the northern lights look like a single cigarette-lighter in the last arena performance of “Freebird”, dark mysteries science cannot yet imagine, and oceans of glittering complexity so vast they’d trebuchet almighty Zeus and Benoit Mandelbrot into an impotent jealous rage;
-all on the way to becoming You.
And imagine that just maybe, a very long time ago, you were something someone else made a wish on one night.
For a neat, illustrated compliment to the Evolution part of this, check out the ASAPScience video in the JUMP BONUS!:
Stay Sparkly, Superstars!
Remember, You are the result of an unbroken chain of mystery, awesomeness, and miracles, back to the beginning of space and time.
Check out the spacey details in the Links below:
JUMP BONUS 2!: Fiona Apple, The Beatles, And The Universe:
• “Star Flare”, by Karina
• “Star Frame”, by TimelyAlex
• “Star Trails of Brown Tract Pond”, by Chuck Miller
• Video 1, by ASAPScience
• Video 2, by Mike Jones and Fiona Apple
• More Coverage: Space.com | NatGeo-Living With The Stars
Spiritual Hat-Tip to the big man, Carl Sagan!