From LifeWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
x = 4, y = 2, rule = B3/S23 ob2o$2obo! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C Still life
Pattern type Strict still life
Number of cells 6
Bounding box 4×2
Frequency class 13.9
Discovered by JHC group
Year of discovery 1970

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

Use as a rock

The snake can act as a rock. An example is shown below in Conduit 1.

x = 24, y = 13, rule = B3/S23 b2o$2bo$bo$b2o6$o3b2o15bo$2o2b2o15bo$b2o18b3o$2o21bo! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ GPS 20 THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
Conduit 1, showing the snake as a rock catalyst
(click above to open LifeViewer)
RLE: here Plaintext: here

Use as an induction coil

A snake is the cheapest way in both population and bounding box to stabilize a line of three cells, such as in cauldron, and the cheapest in bounding box but not population for a line of five, such as in the rectifier. Snakes are also the most efficient way to stabilize certain non-flat regions such as those in 55P10 and 28P7.2, although aircraft carriers also work for this purpose.


Snake is the twenty-first most common still life in Achim Flammenkamp's census, being less common than boat-tie but slightly more common than big S.[2] It is also the twenty-eighth most common object on Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue. It is the rarest of the five 6-bit still lifes.[3]

The snake is about twice as common in C2_4 (the symmetry it has) compared to asymmetric soups.

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.

On February 20, 2022, a method was found to construct pseudo still lifes consisting of an arbitrarily large stack of snakes.[4] These objects were previously notoriously difficult to synthesize – xs18_bd0db0bd, consisting of a stack of three snakes, formerly cost 67 gliders to construct, making it by far the most expensive pseudo still life with 18 cells.[5]


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

Longsnake.png Verylongsnake.png Long3snake.png Long4snake.png Long5snake.png Long6snake.png
Long snake
Very long snake
Long^3 snake
Long^4 snake
Long^5 snake
Long^6 snake

See also


  1. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection. Retrieved on June 18, 2009.
  2. Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on January 15, 2009.
  3. Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on June 24, 2016.
  4. iNoMed (February 20, 2022). Re: Still Life Synthesis Thread (discussion thread) at the forums
  5. Adam P. Goucher. "Census". Catagolue. Retrieved on February 15, 2022.

External links