The SplinterphageAnnalee Newitz9/15/08 2:25amFiled to: Mad science contestNaor livneSplinterphage1EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkOne of the runners-up for the "general synthetic lifeform" was Noar Livne, who charmed us by asserting at the end of his contest entry that he is not insane. Drew Endy, one of our judges, named Livne's lifeform "Splinterphage." Here is how Livne described it: This life-form has 3 stages and two sexes. Stage 1 The male and female in this stage are identical, this stage is a cocoon stage. In the stage the lifeform looks like a seed, being no more then 1 centimeter in length, and with a pointed sharp top which is achieved by having all the weight in the lower circler bottom. The lifeform is also surrounded by some small amounts of tiny legs, although none of them touches the ground and are all around it (but more on that later). The lifeform has a high level of toxicity for the females only (which is carried with her in all stages). The lifeform is on the ground waiting (in a hibernation like state in order to conserve energy) for an animal to step on it, and once that happens the real life cycle of the lifeform begins. The lifeform sharp top punctures the (now victimized) animal, and using the tiny legs around her body begins crawling inside so it will be hard to reach, thus remaining inside the animal, (seeing as there are no eyes on the lifeform the sudden pressure of the stump could be the trigger for her awakening). At this point the male lifeform will crawl near the saliva glands of the animal, while the female will position it-self in the middle of the stomach cavity. Both animal will now connect (more like leach) of their host animal (male will connect to the saliva glands and the female to the stomach), the only difference is that the male will only take the amount of food (from what the animal eats) he needs to survive and grow to the size which allows him to crate sperm (ok maybe technically this also should count as a stage) at which point the male moves the sperm into the saliva of its host, and from there it goes to the local water supply when the animal drinks. The female acts like the male in only taking what it needs from the animal that it needs in order to survive and to grow reproductive organs, until the host animal drinks from water supply with a sperm of the male in it, at which points she gets pregent and move on to stage 2. Stage 2 The female now starts to consume it host by growing more connections to it and sucking it dry (like some forms of spiders do) it uses it energy to grow it babies (stage one of this freaky lifeform). After some time the animal dies (being sucked dry isn’t a nice way to go), at which point the animal connection to the animal shrivel away (to conserve energy) and it starts growing outside the host cadaver (pointing to the sky) what looks like a very thin skin mushroom, on which the baby seeds of this lifeform grow from its bottom. Stage 3 Again a female only stage. After the seeds grow (which should before the time all of the nutrients of the host body are gone are goon), the mother spits upwards the mushroom top, which thanks to its shape begins to spin. The spin causes the seeds to break there fragile connection and fall to the grounds near the remains of the cadaver. At this time the mother lifeform dies, and with it the poison should quickly vanish from the host dead body (seeing it is no longer actively produced, it should be a type of which is vary strong to prevent any other animal to steal the life form nutrients, yet one that disappears quickly), attracting other animals to eat the remains of the corpse (seeing how the small of the lifeform, which they recognize as poisoned disappeared). When other animals come to eat from the corpse they in turn step on the new seed stage of this lifeform and the cycle begins again. Some points: 1) The male doesn’t kill the animal host so that way it keeps dumping sperm into the water resurveys it drinks from all its life. 2) Don’t ask me why anyone would want to crate this thing, the name of the contest is mad science contest isn’t it? 3) I dare you to find anything cooler than that. 4) No I’m not insane.