Shadow Life

'Shadow biosphere' might be hiding strange life right under our noses
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True, but that is our everyday understanding of the term. Vangelis Paterakis is a Greek photographer born and brought up in Piraeus, famous among other for his hotel spaces photo shoots. From the very beginning of his professional path he became a close collaborator of big advertising companies, editorial houses and magazines.

On the international front his work appears in various printouts abroad such as the Wallpaper, the Architectural Digest, the Andrew Martin-Interior Design Review and many others. Familiar bodies that oozed love, friendship and daily acquaintance were intertwined, captured by his lens and then conveyed to large metallic canvases. His pictures remain familiar and their figures emit an instant mood for creation, annihilating the stillness of the picture offering to the spectator a side of life far from its daily perception. The exhibition Shadow Life will be held between the 2nd and the 9th of May at The Met Hotel in Thessaloniki, Greece, which opened its doors recently to the public.

Part of the income will be at the disposal of Quintessentially Foundation, the worldwide charity organisation that has been founded by Quintessentially , the biggest lifestyle management group worldwide. Sign up to receive Yatzer's newsletter and get our latest stories twice a month delivered directly to your mailbox. Search Newsletter. Previous Article. Next Article.

5 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Your Shadow

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Edited by Ross Andersen. In the late s, the Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek looked through a microscope at a drop of water and found a whole world. It was tiny; it was squirmy; it was full of weird body types; and it lived, invisibly, all around us.

See a Problem?

Now, we know that those animalcules are microbes and they actually rule our world. They make us sick, keep us healthy, decompose our waste, feed the bottom of our food chain, and make our oxygen. We could be poised on another such philosophical precipice, about to discover a second important world hiding amid our own: alien life on our own planet. Today, scientists seek extraterrestrial microbes in geysers of chilled water shooting from Enceladus and in the ocean sloshing beneath the ice crust of Europa.

They search for clues that beings once skittered around the formerly wet rocks of Mars. Telescopes peer into the atmospheres of distant exoplanets, hunting for signs of life. But perhaps these efforts are too far afield.

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If multiple lines of life bubbled up on Earth and evolved separately from our ancient ancestors, we could discover alien biology without leaving this planet. If biology can happen twice on one planet, it must have happened countless times on countless other planets. But most of our scientific methods are ill-equipped to discover a shadow biosphere. She was studying the scientists, who were studying microorganisms.

But that party line disturbed Cleland. Their methods assumed that all microbes have genetic material that works like ours. If so, organisms from a second or third genesis would never turn up in our tests, because our tests are only meant to turn up familiar life.

Shadow Life

In in the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences , Cleland wrote about just such a trace: desert varnish. Desert varnish — into which people have scraped petroglyphs for thousands of years — appears layer by layer, growing only the width of a human hair each millennium.

As big as Darwin

The varnish is replete with arsenic, iron and manganese, although the rocks it coats are not. No known geochemical or biological process can account for its ingredients. And yet there it is. Toxitolerants can live in nuclear waste; acidophiles can live in battery acid; obligate anaerobes die in the presence of oxygen; thermophiles thrive around hot vents deep in the ocean. Life, as they say in the movie Jurassic Park , finds a way.


Shadow life is a hypothesis proposed by cosmologist Paul Davies, chair of the SETI: Post-Detection Science and Technology Taskgroup of the International. It's the idea that so many people live a shadow life. Let me explain, and here I am taking Pressfield's words from the book “Turning Pro” (page.

But even the most familiar forms of life can be difficult to find. A shadow biosphere might help us understand why. Just as a hammer and a sledgehammer can both pound a nail, other chemical combinations could lead to organisms that grow, adapt, respond to stimuli, and reproduce — that live, in other words. But which chemicals?

Nomad Shadow Leaf

And how? To understand that requires going back to the beginning. Or it might have come from a Martian meteorite. What we do know is that half a billion years after Earth became a planet, molecules began to make copies of themselves. Many scientists believe that the first self-replicating molecules — a primitive form of gene-only life — were RNA. Others say that a long chain of purely chemical reactions spat out increasingly complicated organic molecules, which then sped up the reactions that produced even more organic molecules.

This metabolism led to genetic ingredients after many cycles. And, eventually, to genes themselves. Maybe different alphabetical combinations are still locked inside ancient organisms that putter invisibly around ocean vents.

Shadow Life

But six other bases occur naturally, and the biodesigner John Chaput of Arizona State University wonders whether different molecules could do what DNA does. DNA instructs our bodies to produce certain proteins, which are conglomerations of 20 different amino acids.