An Exploration of the Physics of the Starwhale

A starwhaleSo, stupidly late, I realise, but I fear that I may have to say a few words on the subject on yet another incarnation of the nation’s favourite Time Lord, the Doctor. However, we’ve already moved on to episode six – yes, really, that quickly – so I have a lot of subject matter to talk about. There are the new daleks, now even more sexy, stone angels that aren’t nearly as scary as before, another visit from River Song, and vampires, without even starting on the hero and heroine of the entire thing. However, the thing that caught my attention the most so far this season is the starwhale. I was entranced by the idea of it – an enormous creature that drifts through space, floating this way and that, and saving worlds in between.
So this blog post is going to be based solely on it. More specifically, it shall be based on how the starwhale might have come into existence. Scientifically of course. I’m talking about its evolution.
We will assume – for the sake of simplicity – that the starwhale is a carbon-based organism, much like the ones on Earth, that breathes in x gas, breaths out y gas, and eats z. This would suggest that it probably evolved in some sort of low-gravity region of a planet, such as high in the atmosphere, or on an asteroid or such like.
My most likely theory is that it probably was born as a single-celled being on a distant gas giant type planet. Floating around, high above the rest of the world, it would probably have been resistant to much of space’s radiation, if this is possible. Maybe, over time, it – and the rest of its particular evolutionary strand – floated up from nearer the centre of the planet to the edges, gaining, as it developed into a more complex organism, a thick layer of dead matter to stop the deadly rays. I’m not sure. I would imagine the starwhale would absorb gas somehow while in a suitable atmosphere and then exhale it as a method of propulsion. This would suggest that, in its original environment, our hypothetical planet, it would fly, probably constantly, using excreted wind to propel itself around. It would, quite literally, fart itself around.
So our proto-starwhale is flying around happily, but we still don’t know why it started flying through space. I presume that, as it moved further and further out from the planet’s centre, it started leaving the planet’s atmospher for short periods of time. Over millions of years, for some reason or other, it became a space-dwelling creature that dipped into atmospheres such as the one of its original home.

So, plausible? I have no idea. There are lots of holes that need filling, and lots of other possibilities, I’m sure. However, I think I’ve done quite well. I would like to thank the nice people at The Doctor Who Discussion Thread and Fan Club for their role in the ideas I have written about above. (The link shows the part of the topic that discusses the above matter.)

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One thought on “An Exploration of the Physics of the Starwhale

  1. That’s…an interesting thought there Johz.

    I must admit I’ve been a little disappointed with the new season of Doctor Who. Like you said the Angels are much less scary, and the daleks remind of power rangers! Crazy!

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