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b2o2b2o$3b2o$3b2o$obo2bobo$o6bo2$o6bo$b2o2b2o$2b4o2$3b2o$3b2o! #C [[ THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 THUMBLAUNCH AUTOSTART ]] #C [[ TRACKLOOP 10 0 -1/10 THUMBSIZE 3 GPS 5 HEIGHT 800 WIDTH 483 ]]
Pattern type Spaceship
Number of cells 28
Bounding box 6×12
Direction Orthogonal
Period 10
Mod 10
Speed c/10
Heat 27.8
Discovered by zdr
Year of discovery 2016

Copperhead is a c/10 orthogonal spaceship discovered by zdr on March 5, 2016.[1]


The ship hauls a block behind it, which makes for interesting reactions involving other ships. Dean Hickerson built a sawtooth, that uses copperhead's ability to turn a heavyweight spaceship into a loaf.[2] It can also eat gliders and middleweight spaceships cleanly from behind, and lightweight spaceships from the side of the block. Its front end can cleanly burn through blinkers, creating a c/10 blinker fuse.


Simon Ekström found what appeared to be a tagalong with a large spark on March 20, 2016.[3] Unlike most tagalongs, this tagalong actually temporarily interacts with the hauled block, and is thus not a true tagalong but a whole new spaceship.[4] However, blocks hauled by the tagalongs in tagalong pyramids are unaffected, and are thus true tagalongs.


The first synthesis was proposed by Aidan F. Pierce on the day of discovery. An alternative synthesis utilising fumarole as a predecessor, presented by Tanner Jacobi an hour later, was much more efficient. After optimizations by Mark Niemiec and Chris Cain the total synthesis cost made 22 gliders. A copperhead gun was then completed by Alexey Nigin on March 6, 2016.[5] A faster gun was constructed one day later.[6]

The first copperhead to emerge from the ash of a soup appeared on April 4, 2016 in a D2_+2 haul submitted to Catagolue by Apple Bottom.[7] Three copperheads have since been found in this symmetry, alongside one respectively in both D4_+4 and D8_4.


Various names were proposed on the day of the ship's discovery; for example copperhead, blockhauler, decapod, cuttlefish and blockfish. zdr settled on copperhead.[8]


A simple copperhead eater found by Simon Ekström.
View animated image
The phase the copperhead was first found in.

In other rules

DryLife's goldenhead.

In the cellular automaton DryLife, an extremely similar spaceship (dubbed the goldenhead) also travels at c/10 orthogonal. It differs from the normal copperhead by 2 cells in one phase. A normal copperhead at this phase will turn into a goldenhead in DryLife, and conversely this phase will return to a copperhead in normal Life.

See also


  1. zdr (March 5, 2016). "is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on March 5, 2016.
  2. Dean Hickerson (6 March, 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?".
  3. Simon Ekström (March 20, 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on March 20, 2016.
  4. towerator (20 March 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on 30 June 2016.
  5. Alexey Nigin (March 6, 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on March 6, 2016.
  6. gmc_nxtman (7 March, 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on 8 March, 2016.
  7. Apple Bottom (April 4, 2016). "Haul". Catagolue. Retrieved on April 4, 2016.
  8. zdr (6 March 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on 5 July 2016.

External links