“碳基” means “carbon-based,” and “生物” means “living things.” Carbon is the backbone of every known biological molecule. Life on Earth is based on carbon, likely because each carbon atom can form bonds with up to four other atoms simultaneously. This quality makes carbon well-suited to form the long chains of molecules that serve as the basis for life, such as proteins and DNA. Although all life on Earth is based on carbon, Chinese netizens specifically use the term to refer to humans. People use “carbon-based life” instead of “humans” in situations where they think someone is outrageous, absurd or just innovative.
Wǒ fā gěi nǐ de tuōkǒuxiù shìpín kàn le ma？
Did you watch the standup comedy video I sent you?
Kàn le，tài hǎoxiào le，lǐmiàn de duànzi jiǎnzhí búshì tànjī shēngwù néng xiǎngchūlái de。
Yeah, it’s so hilarious. No human could create those jokes.