Ancient Life as Old as the Universe

Ancient Life as Old as the Universe

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Join us on an exploration of how different cosmic conditions could shape unique worlds and civilizations.
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Life has existed on one planet for about 4 billion years, for all we know. But it might have started right after the Big Bang, when the universe was much stranger and more fantastic than today. A universe that might have allowed life to develop absolutely anywhere. The cosmos might be full of the seeds of life, sleeping in a dead desert, waiting for a few drops of rain to explosively bloom and grow. Tiny and not so tiny aliens might be everywhere.


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37 Responses

  1. Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell says:

    ✨ WORLDWIDE SHIPPING AVAILABLE ✨ The 12,024 Human Era Calendar has landed!
    Join us on an exploration of how different cosmic conditions could shape unique worlds and civilizations.
    Stocks are highly limited, so don’t miss your chance to own a truly special piece of kurzgesagt.

  2. Yiannis Liv says:

    As someone who is studying for a PhD in medical genetics, I am simply amazed by this video. Even though evolutionary biology is not my field, my mind was blown by the idea of the universe being warm enough to support life everywhere for millions of years, in the past.

    • Nuck says:

      Bring on all the anti-science religious people! This should be good.

    • sha says:

      Okay but imagine if there was a single civilization as intelligent as we are alive during those first few million years
      Would they know that in a few million years their world would be completely chilled because they are in the middle of space, not orbiting any star?
      Would they be able to figure out how early they are in the universe?

      With 10³⁰ planets I will bet that it did happen at least once during that time

    • RedTurtle81 says:

      @sha man.

    • Yo says:

      @sha Ok, now I want someone to write a sci-fi story with this idea.

    • PowerDuDe_DK says:

      ​@sha hmm, I think it’s unlikely that complex life, as ourselves, would exist so early on in the universe.

  3. Matt says:

    Even after all these years of watching Kurzgesagt, I still can’t believe these amazing little documentaries are completely free for everyone to watch. Everyone really should watch them too.

  4. Gumarks says:

    It’s the first time I hear about the concept of the Goldilocks universe. It absolutely fascinates me. This video (both the visuals and the narrative) is one of the most beautiful works you’ve made so far.

    The fact that content of such astounding quality is available for everyone for free still keeps amazing me. Your project is awesome (it has always been), and contrary to my belief that it could not be done any better, you manage to top yourselves every single time. I can’t thank you guys enough for this content, keep it up!!

    • Dmitrii Selivanov says:

      The peer-review note on one of the main source-papers for this video:

      “In this contribution, the author attempts to characterize the functional form of the relationship between the sizes of the functional genome of organisms and their appearance in the fossil record. Using five data points (prokaryotes, eukaryotes, worms, fish, and mammals), the author deduces an exponential increase in functional size with time. He then uses this functional relationship to hypothesize an origin of life that exceeds the age of the Earth by a factor of two. From this he concludes that the origin of life cannot have taken place on Earth, but points towards hypotheses of the panspermia type.
      This paper is an example of how not to analyze data.”

    • Ace Fool says:

      I recommend checking out their Fermi Paradox videos if your interested in this kind of stuff

    • Melinda Green says:

      First time for me too, which is unusual. I’d really tired of the channel because of all the endless overviews, so I hope this is the start of a trend of giving viewers more credit.

    • Devin Fleenor says:

      It’s not a new concept but it certainly is good. The thought of globs of water in space instead of comets has been such a crazy concept to me.

      Another fascinating era of life will be trillions of years from now when red dwarves turn into blue dwarves. they get hotter and will push their habitable zones outward, warming more distant planets. Being the most common of the stars this will mean an insane amount of planets will thaw out and life will have its last, and possibly longest, golden age. There are currently no blue dwarves in the universe because the universe is far to young being in the billions of years old not trillions.

  5. NeuroApe says:

    This is not my direct scientific field, but I have followed origin of life theories for quite awhile. While the genome size doubling is obviously majorly simplified as the video does suggest, I think it is a decent proxy. The exponential idea and reversing it was something I had never heard of before, and I think it is an absolutely stellar idea that carries some serious water. Thanks for introducing me to this concept! Definitely will be reading that source material.

    • Roman Cernjak says:

      kudos for “stellar” and “water.” nice.

    • Toby Legion says:

      Well, there is such a thing as oversimplification, and IMHO the example of genome doubling was definitely such a thing.
      And the reversal is seriously flawed as well, since we cannot at all assume that the same doubling rule can be applied to very simple genomes, which might evolve way more rapidly than complex genomes.
      And no explanation how such extraterrestrial germs get to earth and survive getting here.

    • Ancellery says:

      @Toby Legion the explanation for life spreading across the universe was due to the fact that all water was liquid during that time. Life could easily hop from asteroid to asteroid, especially since everything was much closer together back then. 7 million years is easily enough time to travel across the galaxy.

  6. webtweakers says:

    You guys continue to blow my mind with these fantastical ideas and amazing videos! Keep doing what you’re doing! And thanks for the 12,024 human era calendar – been waiting eagerly for this one. Just ordered it. 🙂

  7. Sandy Rojas says:

    This reminded me so much of Outer Wilds. That game is one of my favorites, never fails to make me cry. The notion that you’re something so insignificantly small in the face of such magnitude is hauntingly beautiful. That epic scale resonates so deeply within me, like it makes my soul quiver. Thanks for this video, I loved it.

  8. Sabertooth Seal says:

    When I was at university, I went to a talk from a scientist working on the (then proposed, now funded) Titan Dragonfly probe mission. One of her answers from the q&a at the end always stuck with me:

    Someone had asked her what kind of guidance systems The landing stage would have to avoid obstacles on the ground. She said they would use existing ground maps and on-board radar to detect large obstacles like boulders and chasms. Smaller obstacles, like trees, would be a lot more difficult to detect and dodge — “but if we land in a tree,” she said, “we win.”

  9. Jessica Adams says:

    Honestly, thank you for this video. I’ve been feeling really bad about myself and life lately, and this theory makes me feel hopeful about the world and my place in it. Like I’m at the center of a universe full of possibility and potential, like the Dark Forest and Great Filter are just fictional monsters made up by parents to scare us as kids. Your videos make me feel like stardust! 🥰

  10. Matthew the Wanderer says:

    I was extremely skeptical when I read the title, but since Kurzgesagt always delivers, I watched anyway. I’m very glad I did, and learned some things and gained new ideas! Awesome! Also, I really hope the calendar doesn’t sell out before I have a chance to buy one after I get paid on Friday!

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