This image is made from individual curve segments, where the distances between the endpoints in each of the segments are randomly drawn from a distribution of ages at the time of death in the USA during 2007, resulting in a rough visual representation of the lengths of lives.
This image uses 2025 lifelines, each in the shape of a nearly complete circular arc, with a gap preserving the lifeline's endpoints.
Each lifeline is randomly placed and evokes a bacteria colony.
The viewer is invited to reflect on the question
What is the origin of life?
Background and Inspiration
I first explored the idea of using curves of random length to represent lives for the December 2019 issue of Mathematics Magazine. This is another image in that series.