Why not

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Why not
3bo3b$3bobob$bo5b$ob5o$bo5b$3bobob$3bo! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ AUTOSTART ]] #C [[ LOOP 2 GPS 2 THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
Pattern type Oscillator
Number of cells 14
Bounding box 7 × 7
Frequency class 39.9
Period 2
Mod 2
Heat 15
Volatility 0.68
Strict volatility 0.68
Discovered by David Buckingham
Year of discovery 1977

Why not is a period-2 oscillator found by David Buckingham in July 1977[1]

This oscillator resembles by flops very strongly; indeed, by flops can be transformed into why not simply by placing an extra cell at one of the two Y-shaped appendages at a given side. Performing this on both sides gives why bother.


It first appeared naturally on April 15, 2015, in a soup submitted to Catagolue by Brett Berger.[2]

This pattern has occurred naturally in Catagolue's asymmetric censuses, however details of its rarity are currently not known.

Glider synthesis

Goldtiger997 found an 8-glider synthesis for the oscillator on August 23, 2016,[3] and reduced the cost to 7 gliders on January 21, 2019 with a new script for 3-glider collisions.[4]


  1. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection. Retrieved on March 14, 2020.
  2. Brett Berger (April 16, 2015). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
  3. Goldtiger997 (August 23, 2016). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
  4. Goltiger997 (January 21, 2019). Re: Thread for your unsure discoveries (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums

External links