There are many mysteries regarding the vastness of the universe, until recently perhaps none more intriguing than the possibility of the existence of life beyond the boundaries of our own planet. The neranid is a recently discovered creature of which little is known, but what little there is has now been gathered here for your scientific enlightenment and reading enjoyment. Originally written on the 8th September 2016.
“A Study of Neranids“
Neranids are large, brain-like creatures which inhabit the distant reaches of certain star systems. From scientific observations, they are believed to be around thirty metres in diameter. Due to a lack of information on their biological make up, their mass is currently unknown.
Neranids are classified by the scientific community as free-floating cosmic beings with a gelatinous human brain-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. In addition to housing all vital organs, the bell can also pulsate to help propel them through space at speeds of up to twenty miles per hour. The creature’s tentacles sprout from their bloated undercarriage and can grow to be up to several kilometres long. These are used primarily to catch its main food source of space lampreys and tube worms, which it captures and kills by emitting lethal toxins and crippling ultrasound. Despite looking almost exactly like a human brain, comparisons have also been drawn between them and the common jellyfish of Earth, both in terms of physical characteristics and mannerisms.
The neranid’s epidermis is covered in a thick, oil-like substance, and it was through the reflection of distant stars upon its surface that resulted in our scientist’s first observations of them through deep space telescopes. The animal’s slick coating is also believed to help them attract mates. In contrast to the adults, juvenile neranids lack the viscous coating of their parents and instead emit a dull phosphorescent glow which it gradually loses until it reaches maturity.
From recent observations, neranids have been discovered in almost every galaxy known to man, including our own. From just beyond the atmospheres of planets to the distant depths of deep space, the extremely hardy and versatile creatures appear to thrive in almost any vacuumous environment. The only exceptions to this rule appear to be asteroid fields, which the creatures cautiously avoid. Due to its requirement of extremely cold temperatures and a vacuum in which to survive, the largest neranids can only be found in certain locations which are precise distances from stars. These areas are now referred to as “neranid zones”. In addition to these animals, the zones are also an ecological hotspot for the space lamprey, certain strands of cosmic fungi and plasma rods.
The reproductive cycle and habits of the neranid are not fully understood at this time, though there is ongoing speculation that the creature might be hermaphroditic as evidenced by their behaviour towards others. The nomadic animal has on several occasions been observed getting into vicious and more often than not fatal fights with other members of its wandering species.
Neranids are estimated to have roamed the universe for at least eight hundred million years, and possibly a billion years or more, making them the oldest multi-organ animal known to man. In addition to being organisms capable of life without oxygen, they are also believed to be highly resistant to radiation, as evidenced by their ability to live comfortably in even the most deadly of radioactive galaxies.
Whilst there are currently no known natural predators of neranids, it is believed that there may be something as yet undiscovered out there which feeds upon them, as an unchecked population would certainly be much larger than it currently appears to be.