An Underrated Youtube Documentary – Life Beyond 2: The Museum of Alien Life


Various snapshots of 3D animation/models in the film

The internet is many things, and one of them is a place to create content and share it with the world. YouTube is the biggest media sharing platform on the web and is home to many independent creators. One such creator goes by the username Melodysheep, whose real name is John D. Boswell. He is the creator of Life Beyond, a science documentary series focused on life, earthly or otherwise, in the context of the universe. Its latest installment came out on his channel on October 7th of this year, and is amazing.

Life Beyond 2: The Museum of Alien Life was released on Youtube for free for anyone to watch. The nearly 40-minute long documentary centers around a hypothetical museum of all life in the universe, and what it could hold. It begins by clarifying that the film is divided into two separate sections: “Life as we know it” (predictions for what alien life could be based on known biological concepts) and “Life as we don’t know it” (explorations into theoretical concepts that challenge our most basic understandings of life). The documentary is incredibly well researched, even including quotes from experts on the topics being discussed, and the information presented is often genuinely shocking, interesting, and intriguing (or informally, really cool). 

Alongside the fascinating information, the visuals are of exceptional detail and clarity, with spectacularly animated and modeled visualizations of the information. The models feel real, and the animations are almost more clear than things shot in real life. There are creative and mind-boggling depictions of the possibilities described – dreamlike alien flora, nightmarish creatures, visualizations of microscopic concepts, and surreal possibilities of distant planets, to name a few. And the music is incredible – it is always played at the most appropriate times, and invokes feelings that go along with what is being shown. It is nearly indescribable.

This brings up a very important point: Boswell has estimated in the comment section that around 95% of the documentary was his work – the rest would be from the scientists he quoted, some 3D models he purchased, the narrator, and a few other people who helped him, but a great majority of this video was all his work – only one person. I can confidently say that this video is better in quality than many things shown in theatres. It shows that there is an untapped potential in entertainment. Take massive entertainment corporations like Disney, Universal, Warner Bros. – these companies have massive budgets and huge teams. They are in possession of an absurd amount of resources, and they have the ability to turn that into art. But the strange thing is, despite being in possession of all these resources, many products created by corporations turn up flat. Millions of dollars, hundreds of employees, who knows how many hours – and these works miss quite often. They sometimes feel lifeless, as if there was no passion put into them. 

This is the reason that I feel Boswell’s video is important. It is genuinely exciting that one person was able to do something that entire studios have been unable to do – to simply create from the heart. One can tell from the work itself and comments that Boswell makes on this work that this is his passion project. He is making these videos because he is genuinely interested in the things he researches and creates. Passion > profit. That is what this is all about. Big entertainment corporations have gotten into the habit of throwing money at projects and waiting for them to turn into art. Meanwhile, countless creators are pouring their souls into their work, without the time and money, and are making masterpieces. It is never about the budget. It certainly helps, of course, but that is never what is important. Art takes an artist, not an expensive paintbrush.

If you are a fan of science, sci-fi, documentaries, ambient music, mind-bending visuals, aliens, or simply passion, give Life Beyond 2: The Museum of Alien Life a watch, for free on Youtube (and you should also watch Life Beyond 1: The Dawn while you are there, though it isn’t necessary to understand this one). This documentary is of insanely high quality, and I think many people would appreciate it as well. It has around 6.1 million views at the time of writing, and around 236 thousand likes, which is much lower than it deserves. I would rate this a 5/5, it is one of the most high-effort pieces of content I have ever watched.