The Lost World

Daily Prompt: You get to design your own planet: tell us all about your planet — the weather, the seasons, the inhabitants. Go.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us SPACE.

A new planet?

Do we need a new one? A new one to maim, to burn and suffocate? I’m not sure the universe needs one more planet to be owned by humans.

I’ve thought about this question off and on today, as I sat among all the other idling cars, in long lines of traffic, waiting to get to the gas station, the grocery store, to get the last of the presents. I watched as we and the snow-clearing crews puffed and smoked and choked along, contributing to greenhouse gasses and to the poisoning of water sources by ice-melting formulae.

This lovely little blue planet is more than we could ask for. It is perfect. Which is why we’re here, after all. But we – we are not perfect.

So, if I was to design my own planet, I think the first thing I would do is make sure there was no us. No humans. Nothing that could eventually evolve into humans.

A nice little blue planet with trees and flowers and animals happily roaming about, unhindered by humans.

Sure, I love the history and prehistory of our civilizations. But does the planet? Does nature need that?


And where would I stop humans once they had started? How far could I let humans go before they started, once again, to interfere with the natural course of things?

Certainly, I’d need to stop them before they hit the industrial revolution. But before that, too. Somewhere maybe, between moving from being hunter-gathers to becoming farmers.

But really, it would be easier to just create a planet without people. Without any animals who would feel the need to improve things, to develop technologies. To create religions that would then struggle for domination, power, supremacy.

I like being here, I enjoy the comforts, and I contribute to the degradation. I’m aware of that; I’m not saying I’m blameless by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t live off the grid, I do live in a house that is probably larger than our family needs, and I happily rely on heating and air conditioning.

I like our car too. And it’s not electric.

As much as I regret the state we’ve put our planet in, I’m ready to admit that I am part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Which brings me back to the question. If I was able to design my own planet, it would be quite similar to this one.

There would be land and sea; mountains and forests, hills, rivers, desert, tundra, lakes and oceans and rivers. There would be some areas that never thawed, and others which never froze. And there would be places in between which experienced the four seasons. There would be flora and fauna to enjoy the benefits of all the different zones, all the different weather.

Like Earth, this planet would be the ideal distance from the sun to support all its life, and it would have a moon to regulate its tides.

What it wouldn’t have is people. People and machines.

And it wouldn’t have a name.

A name implies ownership, or maybe proprietorship, by the one who does the naming.

This planet wouldn’t need to be owned, and wouldn’t need to be seen. It should be hidden away – maybe behind an invisibility cloak or a veil of cloud – protected from those fleeing the disaster they have created on Earth, or wherever else beings may have interrupted the natural course of things. 

I would design it and then I would close my eyes, spin around ten times, and forget where it was.

Maybe it’s already out there, somewhere, floating benignly in space.



9 thoughts on “The Lost World

    • Well maybe you could…but generally I’m too cynical to believe that even more evolved humans wouldn’t be driven by some form of self interest, or would be altruistic enough to place the planet’s fate above improving their own existence. A few maybe but there are always the other few to spoil it for everyone else. Too negative?

      • I just finished reading Fahrenheit 451 (I read it long ago). You have got to read it! If only to answer the above question. Otherwise I will have to sit here and type up Bradbury quotes. 🙂

        • I am reading The Snow Child right now, at the recommendation of a friend, if you want to do “virtual bookclub.”

        • Ooh, I’ve looked at that book several times but haven’t picked it up yet. I just (last night) started The Light Between Oceans, which coincidentally seems to have some similar plot elements. Decisions, decisions…

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