In the search for life, might alien ocean worlds be a better bet than Earth-like planets?

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

Source: Aeon

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