Astroplankton · Solaris Wiki | World Anvil

Astroplankton

 
Welcome to Solaris, traveller! This is a slower-than-light science fantasy set in our own solar system.
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Astroplankton form the base of the food web of space. Most are far too small to be individually visible to the naked eye, but can sometimes be seen as patches of coloured algae drifting through space.   Astroplankton, especially the algae varieties, can be problematic to spacecraft. Since astroplankton has evolved to survive in extremely hostile conditions, they quickly grow out of control when introduced to a much more nutrient rich space like a spaceship filter. In the worst cases, the astroplankton will bloom and start to release toxins into the air.

Origin

Astroplankton has mostly been observed in orbital space, leading to theories that the astroplankton were introduced to the region in the early spacefaring era. Theres a lot of evidence in support of these theories, such as the varieties of astroplankton sharing genetic similiarities to local planetary microbiology. An emerging field within microchronology studies the distribution and genome of various kinds of astroplankton to trace common travel routes during the Early Spacefaring era.   Critics of this theory point to other examples of life in space, such as the Orbitross and the Deep Space Leviathans, both of which are believed to be reliant on astroplankton for nutrition.

Related Articles

Outer Space
Locations Asteroid Belt ( The Collision Course ) · Oort Cloud
Species Deep Space Leviathan · Orbitross · Astroplankton
Materials Astrallite
Technology Crystal Technology · Super Wide Access Network · Spacecraft ( Dragonfly Carrier )
Society Traditions ( Dumplings in Space ) · Organizations ( Sentinel ) · Conditions ( Deep Space Syndrome )
A variety of different astroplankton viewed under a microscope.
Astroplankton by Annie Stein
Average Size
0.2 µm to 20mm
Conservation Status
Least Concern (LC)
Geographic Distribution
Notice: This article is a stub. If you'd like to see this article expanded, please leave a comment!


Cover image: Astroplankton by Annie Stein

Comments

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Dec 2, 2023 11:03

Aw smol. Is there a cosmic equivalent of Marine Snow? Organic detritus floating in space for critters to enjoy.

Dec 2, 2023 11:06 by Annie Stein

Yes, there absolutely is! It's called cosmic snow, and I bet the orbitross and other space critters think it's delicious. If it wasn't Worldember, I'd try draw the devices that scientists use to pull samples of cosmic snow and add that in the origin section. It's on the list of things I might get back to next month!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Dec 2, 2023 11:48

Awww yes! Look forward to it!

Dec 2, 2023 12:53 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

They're so cute and I love them.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 2, 2023 12:54 by Annie Stein

Thank you!

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Dec 2, 2023 13:18 by Mochi

yaaay more asteroid belt species!

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Consider voting for me in the Worldbuilding Awards!
Dec 2, 2023 13:18 by Annie Stein

Yeah! I wasn't expecting to write about them, but then I woke up with a whole bunch of ideas for this article!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Dec 2, 2023 13:19 by Mochi

I love getting a random burst of inspiration for an article :D

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Consider voting for me in the Worldbuilding Awards!
Dec 2, 2023 15:14

If you have giant Leviathans floating in space, you need food for them. So why not go with a nice bowl or moutful of Astroplankton? How does it taste? I imagine it as a bit of liver texture with some kind of coldness to it. Like Icewine.

You wanna see what we did for the last events? Go, click here: Eddies Major Events
Dec 2, 2023 15:16 by Annie Stein

Oh man, yeah, it's probably not the most pleasant for us humans! I have to imagine it depends a bit on the kind, because there's plankton that's basically algae, and some that are almost like lil mini shrimps. I can see the shrimp being pretty tasty

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Dec 2, 2023 15:32

Hmmm yes, shrimp is a good one. I'll get two bowls of it, thank you kindly. :)

You wanna see what we did for the last events? Go, click here: Eddies Major Events
Dec 2, 2023 16:48 by Doug Marshall

I'm always a big fan of void ecology. I'd love to know more about the life cycles and survival strategies of these microbes! How do they survive in the emptiness? Energy may be abundant in the form of sunlight, but space is a very difficult place to try to gather nutrients, with only a few thousand atoms per square meter at most.

ASP | AV | OE | SPH | TMS | CDL | LOR | PR
Dec 2, 2023 18:21 by Annie Stein

Thank you! The sunlight is key here, yeah! Space in Solaris isn't quite like ours, what with the existence and continued survival of stuff like astroplankton.

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Dec 2, 2023 19:09 by Doug Marshall

Very neat! I wonder: if mobile organisms like Orbitross and Leviathans feed on the drifting astroplankton, might there also be sessile organisms that do the same? Asteroid anemones, perhaps, or even barnacle-like creatures that grow on the hulls of spacecraft to feast on the abundant plankton in the travel lanes?

ASP | AV | OE | SPH | TMS | CDL | LOR | PR
Dec 2, 2023 19:42 by Annie Stein

Thank you! I think that's absolutely feasible, I know the ophis are some eel-like beings that stay on the asteroids and feed on passing plankton. That said, I wouldn't think it's something people see often on ships. I think that could be a good way to show a ship that's been out in space for a *extremely* long time without typical maintenance, or perhaps a spacewreck. I vaguely remember writing about creatures that adapted to life on the Deep Space Leviathans.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Dec 2, 2023 19:18

Nice short article! Using Astroplankton to trace where early space faring was happening is just genius.

Worldember is coming! Want to find more of my things: SatriumHub
Dec 2, 2023 19:33 by Annie Stein

Thank you! I'm very glad all I have to do is invent the name of the science, because anything more would take a level of competency I simply do not have!

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Dec 2, 2023 23:30 by Chris L

This is some really cool foundational world-building! Love the implications that it generates on how Solaris is different from our own world.


For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Dec 3, 2023 08:31 by Annie Stein

Thank you! I suppose apart from like tectonic plates, microbiology is as foundational as it gets!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Jan 6, 2024 20:33 by Mochi

I am a huge fan of the concept of astroplankton, it's something I've wanted in my world but never really figured out. Thank you for participating in my Unofficial Challenge! Here is the badge's ID: [img:5093419]

WE23 Unofficial Species Challenge Badge by Mochi

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.   Consider voting for me in the Worldbuilding Awards!
Jan 7, 2024 09:46 by Annie Stein

Thank you so much! Thanks for running the challenge too ^^

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Mar 7, 2024 14:07 by Reanna R

I love the different theories concerning where the astroplankton origins - it makes the worldbuilding feel so much more fleshed out and compelling :)

May your worldbuilding hammer always fall true! Also, check out the world of the Skydwellers for lots of aerial adventures.
Mar 8, 2024 11:44 by Annie Stein

Thank you so much! I like showing the prevailing theories, and the arguments against those. I like to think it show the scholarship and academia of Solaris, and how they too are investigating and trying to understand the world around them.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!