Surface pressure from the atmosphere: 90 bars
Thick and toxic clouds trap everything on the planet, including our knowledge of “out there.” If we have a satellite, we cannot see it. Just as we cannot view the sphere of fire and gas around which we move or the other burning orbs in the invisible galaxy. How do we know these things exist? We do not. They are simply legends, the origin of which we do not remember. We often wonder if the dark rotating sulfuric fluff piles up to infinity, and there is nothing beyond. It is a sad thought. The pile is heavy, and we cannot go out into the open after being in the caves without feeling the weight on our limbs. This is good for when we need a reminder that we exist. But it can also be dangerous for staying out too long. Because every cloud is shadowy, every cloud’s belly is full, the storms come without warning.
Precipitation: Sulfuric acid droplets
The legend that the planet’s rain is poisonous and deadly has been proven false. When we get trapped in storms, the smell the acid brings into our space, kept close to the surface by the clouds, is enough to make all five of our stomach sacks fill with bile and our three nostrils leak. Still, there is no pain, corrosion, or burning taking place on our bumpy flesh as we blindly move towards shelter in the mountains. We must, however, prevent the droplets from touching the taste buds on our neck, for they are bitter and permit further bile production. The rain is never tame. The plump clouds cry in unforgiving acidic sheets. Sometimes the dense atmosphere is distraught for four heartbeats. On other occasions, we must hide in the mountains’ mouths for ten super rotations.
Topography: Rolling plains, mountains, volcanoes
It is important we do not stray from the ranges. If we venture too far into the plains (which legend says have craters so deep we will never escape if our feet misstep, and we will be exposed to the rain forever), we could get lost in their endless sameness. We do not know what lies on the other side of the flat sands. Maybe there is more like us, and we would not be so lonely if we were to find them.
But we cannot take the risk of losing our mountains. Their dry caves and impenetrable shells keep away the rains and winds and, for the most part, the nauseating smell of the storms. Our favorite mountain is the second highest from the surface. The opening of its safe space lets in the view of more volcanoes than any other. We used to fear the flying red liquid bursting from the secret pouch beneath our planet’s sands and rocks. It is by far more deadly than the rains, according to more legends. But we have learned where the volcanoes on this side of the plains are, and the red will not reach our skins if we use caution. So it is no longer frightening. It is beautiful to see our planet give birth to the red.
Life: A single creature is known
There was a time when there was no we. This one body was an I. Then, it was decided that I was too lonesome of a term. We were created so long ago, it’s hard to remember we ever were an I.
Sometimes, we lay on our back at the line marking the dangers of the plains that roll out as far as our eye can see. We put our arm behind our heads and watch the super rotations. We wonder if our planet is spinning in circles this rapidly, or if it is the depressed, fat clouds traveling in a hurry. They never seem to stay in the same spot, but they never go away. We forgive them for keeping us down here while there is a possibility of unknowns they are not letting us see because maybe they are protective. We forgive them for their unpleasant-smelling rains because the precipitation from our eye has a bad odor when we are sad, too. We have been here for billions of heartbeats, millions of super rotations. Perhaps soon, the dark masses will believe it is time for us to find another body, a friend, and break apart for us. We anticipate this with much excitement because then we will not have to feel like we are so alone.
But we also are frightened. Legends have been proven false before. What if the clouds part, and we discover that we truly and incurably are alone?
Featured image graphic illustration by Juana Garcia