Watch this very chill video of virtual soft-bodied creatures swimming underwater

Using computer simulations to model how virtual creatures evolve over time is a pretty standard research tool, but never has the process looked — and sounded — so strangely trippy. In the video above, you can see a number of soft-bodied animals going for a swim underwater. They’ve been designed by computer, and we can only hope the background music was chosen by a machine too. It’s the kind of muzak that’s hard to even categorize. We’d call, it what, soft rock maybe? Funk lite? Surf chill??

Who knows. Combined with all these gently undulating virtual sea-things the end effect is hypnotic and very, very relaxing. You’ve got this little fella here, which looks like a pair of flapping angel wings:

This strange, pulsating thing, which kind of looks like a bounce house seen from above:

And this thing, which is obviously a crown made of jello:

The video is based on research by Francesco Corucci, and a full paper is available on request here. The red voxels in the animals represent soft elements, while the cyan voxels are stiffer materials. The purpose of the paper, says Corucci and his colleagues, is to explain "the abundance of soft-bodied creatures" in the ocean; so basically it’s looking at why soft-bodies are so useful for flapping about underwater.

via The Verge


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