I had this book as a kid with beautiful paintings of different lifeforms that could inhabit the planets in our solar system. Venus has large black creatures with giant ears. Jupiter has floating gasbags. Europa has creatures with ice-skate-like appendages for feet. I've Googled a bit, but I can't find any information on it.

1 Answer 1


This sounds like the hypothetical lifeforms in the National Geographic Our Universe book, except that the creatures with the big ears are from Mars, not Venus:

Jovian Jellyblimp:

Jovian Jellyblimp

Europan Brinker-roo:

Europan Brinker-roo

Martian Waterseeker:

Martian Waterseeker

The cover of Our Universe:

Cover of "Our Universe"

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    National Geographic did this? Don't they usually concern themselves strictly with non-fiction? Seems weird to see them delving into pure sci-fi like this... Jul 28, 2021 at 13:50
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    @DarrelHoffman, Most of the book was about what we knew at the time, but they had a brief section about hypothetical lifeforms. I think the purposes of that section were to get people excited about the search for extraterrestrial life and to illustrate just how different each world is from Earth. The book also contained illustrations of the mythological figures associated with each planet. (Venus, Pluto, Jupiter, etc)
    – Kyle A
    Jul 28, 2021 at 14:03
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    Wow! My dad had this as one of our "coffee table" books when I was a younger kid and I always thought it was so amazing. What an awesome memory to be reminded of, thanks! I still think the cover of the book has some of the cooler spaceships I've seen.
    – BruceWayne
    Jul 28, 2021 at 14:30
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    @MichaelSeifert That's correct: Venus had "Oucher-pouchers" who bounced around and ate metals and ores. (Titan had "Stovebellies" who ate oxygen ice and burned it in the methane atmosphere to keep warm, and Pluto had crystalline "Zistles.")
    – DavidW
    Jul 28, 2021 at 16:03
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    @KyleA I have no conscious memory of the actual factual stuff. The fantastical lifeforms were much more memorable apparently. Jul 28, 2021 at 18:42

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