Sci fi short – Abiogenesis

By Grant Jacobs 28/08/2014

I think it’d be fair to suggest many scientists are sci fi fans. Hopefully some of my non-scientist readers are too!

You might enjoy this short (4-5 minute) sci fi film by New Zealand animator, Richard Mans. Titled Abiogenesis it was backed by the New Zealand Film Commission, and has won a number of awards in 2012.

Abiogenesis is a word describing the process of life arising from non-living materials. (Evolution, by contrast, looks at how life—already existing—changes over time.*)

Some dictionaries define abiogenesis as ‘spontaneous generation’. Although no doubt correct in terms of word origins, spontaneous generation is an archaic (old-fashioned) term, one that today implies something instantly springing into being fully-formed like the plants in Mans’ short movie below. That’s quite unlikely, of course, but it’s fun in a science fiction setting we’re allowed to imagine these things.

I’ll resist temptation to write more about abiogenesis* and let you enjoy the short film –


I hope readers can forgive me for starting with a non-science post as easier fare for a return to blogging. I’ve been overseas for a few weeks and later hope to bring you a post covering some of the science communication efforts I saw whilst in Taiwan among other things.

Thanks for Jennifer Ouellette who brought the film to my attention.

* It’s a fascinating topic, drawing from (bio)chemistry, (bio)physics and geology, but not one I follow close enough to write about the current state of affairs.

Other videos or animations on Code for life:

Donated to Science to screen

When a City Falls – trailer for movie on Christchurch earthquakes

Our pale blue dot

Friday “movie”

Coming soon: a remade Cosmos and Life on Earth

Backstage at the Diamond Light Source

Animating our DNA*

Friday picture: molecular modelling of the cytoplasm

0 Responses to “Sci fi short – Abiogenesis”

  • I saw it when it first came out a few years back. It’s pretty well done.