“Follow the water” is NASA’s guiding principle when searching for alien life on other planets. Seeking out other worlds devoid of any would be pointless. Without H2O life is a big N-O, because it’s the source of all life. And anyone who has ever been thirsty knows that. Our bodies depend on it; we wouldn’t make it very long without any. That obviously doesn’t just apply to humans, though. It’s a necessity for all organisms. And a beautiful, yet deadly time-lapse short film, featuring more than one hundred sequences of different lifeforms being deprived of water, highlights just how true that is.
“Life needs water. But this fluid tends to evaporate over time into a gaseous state.
Drying out is a chemical process that takes hours, days or even weeks.
Without enough water the organisms metabolism is stopping.”
The short film “Dry Out” (which we first came across at Laughing Squid) comes from motion designer Christian Stangl. Using high resolution cameras outfitted with either a macro-lense or a microscope, he filmed organisms struggling to survive without the basis for life. The results are often exactly what you would expect if you’ve ever forgotten to water your flower bed or walked across an arid landscape. Organisms wither and die when deprived of water, as their basic functions fail.
When set to haunting music and filmed with powerful cameras there’s an eerie beauty to all this death. The visuals look like a gorgeous sequence from a sci-fi film. And the transformations feel like moving poetry against the film’s original score.
But the real resonance comes from how this film highlights just how connected all life on Earth really is. No matter who—or what—we are, ultimately we’re still beholden to water for existence. That’s something to keep in mind when we hear there are people who don’t always have safe access to it right here on this planet. The only one we know for sure has life.