Derived from private extraterrestrial photographs, here is how things are on one world:
It is ostensibly run by a large cow herd; it has two separate atmospheric layers that completely encircle and encase the planet. The bottom one reaches from the ground to the top of the cows’ necks, and the upper one goes on from there.
The two layers are of such different chemical composition that the cows constructively live in two different worlds: one from their hoofs up to their heads, and a second, from their heads on up. Make no mistake, every cow is still objectively a unified creature, but each one subjectively feels they live a split existence.
From the ground up to their heads, the herd lives by pure instinct; no thinker understands its collective behavior, the way it runs furiously in one direction – then, without any signal – suddenly changes speed, and course as though the herd itself had its own intelligence.
In that bottom region from the hooves to the head, all cows are substantially the same, but in the upper atmospheric level in which their heads live – the picture changes. If from their hooves to their heads, the cows have more in common than they have differences, from the head up, the situation seems nearly the opposite.
Because of the different densities of the separate atmospheres, and the ever-present dust stirred up by the constant movement of the herd’s hooves, each cow’s head is pretty much unaware of what goes on below it, down in the lower level – plus, they do not need to be, since everything down there is programmed to operate automatically. The bovines’ heads have been left with a certain amount of free time from the mundane, hooves-on concerns of physical survival, and life in the upper, heady atmosphere, rich in complexities unknown at the lower level, has given rise in the cows’ heads to a thoroughly, bovid-created, dream world; almost a second reality, one that is distinctly different from the dusty, musky, always muscular and physical one in which they live from their heads down.