So the facts are out, and the news is devastating. If you’ve been living in a cave and haven’t heard, brace yourself: Jellyfish born in space have “massive vertigo” when they return to our blue green planet here in the Milky Way galaxy, otherwise known as Earth.
In the early 1990’s, NASA sent nearly 3000 jellyfish into orbit on the space shuttle Columbia to gage how gravitylessness affected their development. This was back when NASA was flush with cash to piss away on experiments involving non-polyp forms of the phylum Cnidaria, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney be damned.
When they returned to the third stone from the sun, they exhibited an “abnormal pulsing” as so many of us do after late night binging at say, Taco Bell. Apparently, under the influence of our gravitation pull, the jellies experienced a malfunctioning in the mechanism which employs calcium sulfate crystals to help them detect direction.
What has this to do with us, you wonder? Isn’t it obvious? Consider our long-term future. The one where we melt the ice caps, tip the atmosphere’s oxygen ratio from breathable to toxic, and then flee to the moon and Mars to rape and pillage what’s left of their natural resources.
I, for one, am sad I won’t be there to see it personally. As Baudrilliard said between healthy drags of a self-rolled french tobacco cigarette, “Imagine the amazing good fortune of the generation that gets to see the end of the world. This is as marvelous as being there in the beginning.”
Because you just know that amidst our desperate race for extra-terrestrial survival there will be someone who sees an angle to make a buck, or garner a little more power than the other survivors, by say, shutting down the off-planetarty government or filibustering the intergalactic council, and he will start us down the very same path that got us to the point where we needed to get off the planet to stay alive in the first place (i.e. ignoring fifty years of scientifically proven global warming data.) Bank on it.
But it’s not all dystopian melodrama here. Mother Earth will finally rid herself of the worst parasite to ever attached itself to a host for a free ride without giving diddley back in return: Humankind. And being free of our bad habits and wicked ways and relentless take and throw away without one iota of reciprocity, she’ll have a moment of respite to begin setting all the damage we’ve done right.
Golf courses all over the earth will become thick with growth, providing new sources of oxygen. Mineral mines will crumbled in on themselves, hiding the scars of centuries of gouging. Fish will slowly repopulate the seas without sushi being hocked on every corner including Rite Aide and CVS and Duane Reade, GMO seeds will slowly lose the evolutionary battle to organic seeds which are better equipped to adapt to rapidly changing environments.
And in a thousand years or so, reports will filter in that the Earth is ready for us to return. We’ll pack up all our shit, leave all of our garbage behind, and jet back home singing God Bless America, even though there’s an international population. Much rejoicing will be heard on that journey, you can bet.
But then we’ll touch down and step out of the sleek ships, and fall flat on our faces, freaking out ’cause we were born in space and our bodies no longer have a clue how to handle Gravity. We’ll wobble around collectively, suffering from “massive vertigo” because– and this is my truncated blog-science, ’cause who’s got time to do real research anymore?– we all basically have jellyfish in our ears that help us keep balanced. Ultra-sensitive hair cells that reach out like tentacles and allow us to determine which way’s up.
Evolution will have done away with these reliable otoliths over the generation born in orbit and upon disembarking on good old planet Earth, intense dizziness will be the new normal, just like our fellow gelatinous Coelenterata blundering helplessly in the deep void of the ocean after being birthed in zero gravity.
Then again, it might just improve our entire way of life. We’ll all be way too nauseous to do any real damage anymore. Certainly operating heavy machinery will be out of the question. No one will be able to sink a putt, much less drive a golf ball 300 yards. And war will be reduced to slithering up to your enemy and trying to jiggle on him more rigorously.
We’ll lose a lot of great traditions too, unfortunately. Forget about ice hockey. Walking on solid ground’ll be challenging enough. On skates, unbalanced blobs are pretty much totally fucked.
I would, however, suggest buying stock in Segway as they will be the standard form of ground transportation until future generations re-acquire the gravity gene and set us on back on the circular course of imminent planetary destruction.
The sweetest irony of all is that in between the time it takes us to regenerate the vestibular labyrinth in our inner ears and get our balance back, the jellyfish who survived the apocalypse and repopulated the seas will rule.