I was told about a science fiction story in which humans have landed on an ice-covered planet or moon and a gigantic plantlike organism bursts out from under the ice due to the humans' lights stimulating its flowering, or something like that. The humans' landing party is destroyed; I think the story is told by the lone survivor. Any idea what this might be?

1 Answer 1


This is the Chinese ship Tsien landing on Europa in 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke.

Chapter 11, Ice and Vacuum:

Perhaps it's a phototrope, its biological cyce triggered by the sunlight that filters through the ice. Or it could have been attracted like a moth to a candle. Our floodlights must have been more brilliant than anything that Europa has ever known.

and later...

'This is professor Chang on Europa, reporting the destruction of spaceship Tsien. We landed beside the Grand Canal and set our pumps at the edge of the ice -'

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