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x = 5, y = 3, rule = B3/S23 2o$o2b2o$b2obo! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C Still life
Pattern type Strict still life
Number of cells 8
Bounding box 5×3
Frequency class 13.7
Discovered by Charles Corderman
Hugh Thompson
Year of discovery 1971

Shillelagh is an 8-cell still life discovered by Charles Corderman and Hugh Thompson in 1971.[1][2]

This still life is comprised of the normally unstable pre-block with a normally unstable long tail attached. It resembles an intermediate between the snake and the long integral.


Shillelagh is the nineteenth most common still life on Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue, being less common than integral sign but more common than boat-tie. Among all still lifes with 8 cells, it is the fifth most common, being less common than long ship but more common than tub with tail.[3] It is also the twenty-sixth most common object overall on Catagolue.

Shillelagh is the eighteenth most common still life in Achim Flammenkamp's census, being less common than long ship but more common than integral sign.[4]

Glider synthesis

All strict still lifes with a population of 20 or fewer cells, as well as all oscillators and spaceships with 16 or fewer cells, are known to be glider-constructible. A glider synthesis of this object can be found in the infobox to the right.


Shillelagh can be infinitely extended, as illustrated by the following:

Long shillelagh
Very long shillelagh
Long^3 shillelagh
Long^4 shillelagh

As a catalyst

While it does not have any unique uses, it can take the place of a snake in some cases, such as Conduit 1. This can reduce the bounding box by a row or column, as the snake is four cells tall, and the shillelagh is only three.

x = 7, y = 12, rule = B3/S23 b2o$2b2o$b2o2b2o$bo3b2o6$b2obo$o2b2o$2o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
Conduit 1 with a shillelagh
(click above to open LifeViewer)


  1. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection. Retrieved on June 18, 2009.
  2. Robert Wainwright (June 1971). Lifeline, vol 2.
  3. Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on June 17, 2022.
  4. Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on January 15, 2009.

External links