Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Holliday on Venus

By Otto

Earth’s closest planetary neighbor is Venus. It is the same size as earth. It has a lot of similarities. But it is also extremely hot, about 900º Fahrenheit. The air pressure is about 200 times that of Earth. The atmosphere is mostly Carbon Dioxide. Between the air pressure and high temperatures the planet is no place any sane human really wants to visit.
And yet for many years, stories, comic books, movies and novels have presented various creatures described as Venusians. There have been way more Martians in popular culture, but of all the planets, Venus comes second. In modern times, such as on Star Trek, aliens seem to come from planets around other stars.
In the early part of the 20th century scientist discovered water vapor in Venus’s clouds. That helped fuel speculation that there might be life there. And for most of the 20th century people had no idea what lie beneath the clouds of Venus. The clouds have always completely covered the planet’s surface. Some scientist speculated that the planet was covered in think jungles and swamps with all kinds of animals.
In the movies the Three Stooges have gone to both Venus and Mars.
 Several Twilight Zone episodes feature both Martians and Venusians. They had at least one where Martians and Venusians were competing to colonize the Earth.
There was another where they both sent people here to do experiments on Earthlings. 
Dondi comic strip once had some bad guys fake a trip to Venus. 

While no one has yet to set foot on either planet, scientist have proven there is no intelligent life on either planet. There is still some speculation that microbe life might be found on some of Venus’s upper clouds and there may be primitive life on the surface and below on Mars.
But today the imagined space people and various monsters from Venus and Mars are like the ancient myths. We know they don’t really exist. If there is any life on these places, it will be extremely primitive. This life could not build space ships or fight a war on us as in War of the Worlds. 

Today a trip to Venus seems absurd to even speculate on. But in the distant future it may happen. We have pictures from the surface of Venus and there are beautiful sunsets and sunrises where the sun streaks through the clouds. If human kind has the determination to move into space, someday an astronaut may actually land there and see it for him or herself.

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