A Proposed Diatom Stratospheric Life-formAuthor(s): Lincoln Stoller
We propose a species of diatom that conducts its full life cycle in the lower stratosphere by suggesting physical, chemical, and electrical mechanisms to maintain its location and metabolism. The life-form we propose exploits hydrogen sulfates to create water for hydration, hydrogen for buoyancy, and energy for metabolic processes. We detail a mechanism for harvesting negative ions by stable altitude cycling in the stratosphere's voltage gradient. This theoretical, predictive approach can be applied to terrestrial and extra-terrestrial atmospheric biomes. We suggest life-forms of this sort have been undetected residents in the stratosphere for the last 200 million years, and argue for new observations that preserve the in vivo conditions of the sampling environment, as is necessary to discover fragile, airborne life-forms.