Scuba Diver Australasia + Ocean Planet - - Contents -

There are many rea­sons why peo­ple are fas­ci­nated by the search for other life–sup­port­ing plan­ets: the thought of out­landish alien life forms, the idea of in­ter­ga­lac­tic travel, space­suit fetishes… But the pri­mary rea­son why this search is so tan­ta­lis­ing is that plan­ets that har­bour com­plex life are, most prob­a­bly, rare. Yet here we all are, liv­ing on one.

For me, the most pro­found im­age in this is­sue is NASA’s “Blue Mar­ble”, fea­tured on page 112. This pic­ture touches some­thing deep in our psy­che, wak­ing us up to the unique and com­plex beauty of our Mother Earth.

From this re­mark­able blue and green planet, many mil­lions of in­ter­con­nected species have been brought into ex­is­tence; so many are as yet un­known to science, and a lot of them are more wild and ex­cit­ing than any­thing a science fic­tion writer could con­jure up.

We are spend­ing vast re­sources on in­ves­ti­gat­ing ways to get to and colonise Mars, but wouldn’t th­ese ef­forts be bet­ter di­rected to­wards pro­tect­ing the rare life-sup­port sys­tem that we al­ready call home?

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