- Primordial Earth Goddess — the mother of Ouranos (Heaven), Oceanus (Ocean) and at least 10 other gods and goddesses.
- Geologic and biological processes that regulate the Earth’s atmosphere and temperature to produce an environment hospitable to life.
THE BIRTH OF OCEAN
In Greek mythology, Gaia gave birth to Heaven and Ocean. This is also literally true.
When the Earth first formed out of intergalactic dust, almost 5 Billion years ago, the sun was smaller than today and dimmer. Nuclear fusion had recently begun in the sun’s core, the process of converting hydrogen to helium. The Earth’s primordial atmosphere, rich in methane and carbon dioxide had little oxygen. Because of an intense greenhouse effect, Earth was a hot place, averaging 40 C. The moon was closer, and larger. A day measured no more than 6 hours.
The early oceans formed with water vapour released from deep inside the Earth. The first life forms were bacteria, soon to form large colonies, stromatolites whose remains we can see today.
Without early bacterial colonies, the Earth’s early oceans would have evaporated into space, leaving us a dry planet, as lifeless as Mars.
The sun’s ultraviolet rays split water into its constituents, hydrogen and oxygen. Without biological processes hydrogen would escape into space. Iron in oceanic basalts, reacts with carbon dioxide and water, essentially drying out the oceans. However, the early bacteria colonies feed on the free hydrogen to form hydrogen sulphide, and reconstitute water.
Gaia not only gave birth to Ocean but also nourished it.
Those same bacteria were responsible for generating the oxygen that we breathe today. As the biosphere developed and evolved, it created and regulated the Earth’s environment, to produce one that is conducive to the propagation of life.
“Gaia’s Children” is a modern fable, set in Scotland 40 years from now when the world is warmer. Wolves have returned to the land and have re-established an ancient relationship.