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x = 3, y = 3, rule = B3/S23 b2o$obo$2o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C Still life
Pattern type Strict still life
Number of cells 6
Bounding box 3×3
Frequency class 3.3
Discovered by JHC group
Year of discovery 1970
For the class of patterns sometimes called ships, see spaceship.

Ship is a 6-cell still life. It was discovered by the JHC group in 1970.[1]

Adding one cell to the corner of the ship will turn it into a fleet. Removing one of the corner cells results in a boat, while removing both results in a tub. Like the tub and the boat, it is infinitely extensible (see long ship).

Ship can act as an eater, eating one half of a traffic light like in p32 blinker hassler 2.


Ship is the fifth most common still life on Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue, being less common than boat but more common than tub. Among all still lifes with 6 cells, it is the second most common, being less common than beehive but more common than barge.[2] It is also the seventh most common object on Catagolue, and the most common object for which there is no 2-glider synthesis.

The ship was also the seventh most common still life in Achim Flammenkamp's census, being less common than pond and more common than long boat.[3]

The ship is about 4.5 times as common in Catagolue than in Achim Flammenkamp's census; it is more common than the tub and the pond in the former but not the latter. The reason for this huge discrepancy is because Catagolue's soups are 16×16 with empty space surrounding it, and a Herschel leaving the active region and going into the empty space produces a ship. In comparison, Achim Flammenkamp's census is on a large torus, which is effectively an infinite region, so there is no empty space for a Herschel to complete its sequence, and it is likely to crash into something first.


As mentioned previously, the ship is a notable component of Herschel (and, by extension, B-heptomino) ash, along with two escaping gliders and some blocks.

Glider synthesis

A ship can be synthesized from 3 gliders in many ways. In particular, crashing a glider into either a pond or a blinker, both of which cost two gliders, creates a ship.

In other rules

It is the smallest pattern that is a still life under the standard Life rules but not in HighLife.


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

Longship.png Verylongship.png Long3ship.png
Long ship
Very long ship
Long^3 ship

See also


  1. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection. Retrieved on June 18, 2009.
  2. Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on June 17, 2022.
  3. Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on April 14, 2009.

External links

No corners (barges) (^-2) • (^-1) • ^0^1^2^3
One corner (boats) (^-2) • (^-1) • ^0^1^2^3
Two corners (ships) (^-1) • ^0^1^2^3