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Cosmic radiation can easily annihilate life, but in just the right amount can be beneficial.

Biological evolution needs gradual changes in the genetic material for organisms to evolve and adapt – and cosmic rays can speed up this process. These insect-like creatures swarm on a planet where a few million years ago a nearby supernova unleashed a mass extinction. Bur not everyone died. The tiniest life forms survived and the leftover radiation helped them evolve and adapt quickly. Behold the unearthly diversity of colors – another consequence of a rapid evolution trying many solutions at once.

Tiny organisms are more resistant to radiation. Thanks to their smaller body mass, they accumulate fewer mutations.