One of the more exciting things to happen in my world this week was the discovery of a methuselah with lifespan 31,192 in Conway’s Game of Life. A methuselah is a small pattern that behaves chaotically for a large number of generations before settling down into a predictable mess.
The pattern, which has been named “Edna” (after Methuselah’s wife), was found by Erik de Neve via the Online Life-Like CA Soup Search and is the second notable discovery of the soup search (the first being the first infinitely-growing pattern in the 2×2 rule). Edna is now the longest-lived known (non-infinitely-growing) pattern that fits within a 20×20 square, beating the previous record-holder by over 2,000 generations.
Congratulations to Erik for finding the pattern after evolving a whopping 425 million random patterns.