Wang's Carpets are large and extremely primitive organisms native to the planet Orpheus in the Vega system. At first glance, they appear to be the planet's only life forms, but in fact they simulate a far more complex virtual ecosystem.
Anatomy & Physiology Edit
Each Wang's Carpet is a single carbohydrate molecule of immense size and complexity. The full structure appears as a thick, greenish, patterned "carpet" a few hundred meters in length and massing 25,000 metric tons.
Wang's Carpets absorb organic radicals created by the intense UV radiation on Orpheus' surface. These radicals drift down to the depths where the Carpets live and are incorporated into their mass.
Wang's Carpets split off smaller Carpets when they grow large enough.
Wang's Carpets are native to the planet Orpheus, the only planet orbiting the star Vega. Orpheus is a terrestrial planet slightly larger than Earth. It is almost entirely covered by ocean, and has an atmosphere consisting almost solely of nitrogen at a pressure six times greater than Earth's. It orbits Vega at a distance of a billion kilometers (6.7 AU), but Vega is so bright and hot that Orpheus is slightly warmer than Earth and is exposed to much more UV radiation. The Carpets live kilometers below the ocean's surface, where they are protected from the radiation.
Wang's Carpets are most notable for their innate simulated realities. Their surface patterns form mathematical systems called Wang tiles. These tiles form a computer capable of running simulations.
Since the Wang's Carpets are so complex, the simulations they generate are as well. Each Carpet encodes a 16-dimensional universe with its own matter and life. Some of this life, called "Orphean squid," is sapient, even though the Carpets themselves are not. It is not clear if the squid have any sort of technology or civilization. In any event, the squid are not aware of the outside physical universe and seem to have no means of influencing their Carpet or interacting with the outside world.