what to see on

For a scenic browse, and an answer-page for Guess The World...

mini-elephants on eros

"I was stooping down to pick a branch of a tree to bring back, when I suddenly saw them in the dawn.  They stampeded and I caught one, a magnificent tusker, and none of them bigger than mice.  This I knew must be absolute proof...  I put the elephant into that match-box and put an elastic band round it to keep it shut...

"Well, I might have collected more things; but, as I said, I had absolute proof, and I had hanging over me all the while, and oppressing me with its weight, that feeling that I was on the wrong planet.  It is a feeling that no one who experiences it can shake off for a single moment...  It is no mere homesickness, it is an always-present overwhelming knowledge that you are in the wrong place, so strong that it amounts to a menacing warning that your very spirit repeats to you with every beat of the pulse.  It is a thing I cannot explain to anyone who has not been lost outside Earth..."

Lord Dunsany, Our Distant Cousins (Saturday Evening Post, 23 November 1929)

>>  Guess The World - Open

fungus forest on eros

Small as it was, Eros had a tiny satellite. It was a silvery object that circled (the asteroid) in a regular orbit. Curt only glanced at the object, which was now on the opposite site. Eros grew into a large, yellowish bulk as the Comet dropped in toward it. Thin air whistled outside, for one of the marvels of this tiny world was the fact that it was able to hold an atmosphere.

Curt flew above the sunlit side of the oblong asteroid, keeping well away from the black hills at its western end. He knew from his previous visit that so-called Magnet Mountains could tear every atom out of a ship that approached too closely.

They flew over a rolling plain covered with tawny grass, crossed above a river that flowed in a deep canyon around the asteroid, and then found themselves above a great forest of giant growths that looked for all the world like exaggerated mushrooms.

“That's the eastern Fungus Forest”, noted the Brain, his lenslike eyes peering closely. “The biggest Erosian town is just north of it”.

Curt nodded.

“I remember. We'd better land by the town and we'd better do it before that queer gravitation field starts affecting us.”

He sent the Comet scudding down on throttled rockets over the crowded yellow fungi of the weird forest. At its northern edge lay a small town of pale stone structures, curiously minareted edifices in which dwelt the human Erosians native to this little world. Captain Future landed the ship in the concealment of the towering fungi nearest this town...

Edmond Hamilton, Outlaws of the Moon (Captain Future, Spring 1942; paperback 1969)

>>  Guess The World - Third Series

Eros - Captain Future

a lush landscape on eros

They packed their meager belongings while Dick finished his meal; the sun was high when they left the beach. They followed the shore line southward, the ground rising steadily before them. And before evening, they came to a rolling vale through which a sparkling river meandered lazily to the sea.

Small wonders unfolded before their eyes. Marching along, they had discovered that there was game on Eros. Not quite Earthly, of course—but that was not to be expected. There was one small, furry beast about the size of a rabbit, only its color was vivid leaf-green. Once, as they passed a wooded glen, a pale, fawnlike creature stole from the glade, watched them with soft, curious eyes. Another time they all started violently as the familiar siren of a Patrol monitor screamed raucously from above them; they looked up to see an irate, orange and jade-green bird glaring down at them.

And of course there were insects—

"There would have to be insects," Pop said. "There could be no fruitful vegetable life without insects. Plants need bees and crawling ants—or their equivalent—to carry the pollen from one flower to another."

They chose a site on the riverside, a half mile or so from, above, and overlooking the sea. They selected it because a spring of pure, bubbling water was nearby, because the woodlands dwindled away into lush fields.

Nelson S Bond, Castaways of Eros (Planet Stories, Winter 1943)

>>  Guess The World - Third Series

Comment from Lone Wolf:

This fragment is probably the most detailed description of the life on the asteroid in the story, but the author concentrates mostly on the plot and doesn't return to it again. It is mentioned though that Eros has neutronium core to explain its Earth-like gravity, that permits existence of atmosphere and life.

[See the discussion arising from this, in The minimum nod of respect for Science.]

the magnet mts and the reversing river on eros

…The Magnet Mountains…  are hilly outcrops of pure iron which, in the strong magnetic field, exert an unbelievable pull upon any ferrous metal that comes near them.  The Erosians, indeed, are able to walk up perpendicular cliffs of these mountains like so many houseflies, by wearing sandals with thin soles of iron.

The small body of water called Lake Orr by the Erosians has a peculiar feature.  It contains both the source and the mouth of the same river – the stream known as the Reversing River.  This is due to the fact that the motion of Eros on its own axes as it glides through space is extremely irregular.  It has no regular period of rotation, due to its unspherical shape.  It turns over and over, much like a flying brick.

This fact makes its periods of day and night extremely irregular.  And also this causes such sudden variations in direction of the solar tidal pull on the lake, that its waters now flow in one direction in the river-bed around the worldlet, and now in another…

Article in Captain Future, Spring 1942

>>  Guess The World - Fourth Series