(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Gaia was the uninhabited fourth planet in its star system and described as Earth-like. The system was located in the Gamma Quadrant. There were several major land masses and a wide variety of climatic and surface conditions, ranging from tundra to desert. The vast majority of the land surface was temperate or semi-temperate. The planet was encased in a quantum energy barrier, and this barrier was known to cause severe temporal displacement. Several weeks after this planet's discovery, the energy barrier surrounding the planet would become impossible to travel through, making this planet inaccessible, sealing it off from the rest of the universe.
In an alternate timeline the planet was colonized in the 22nd century by the crew of the USS Defiant who had been transported through time. The ship crashed on the surface and was unable to send a distress call, as communications through the Bajoran wormhole were not possible at the time. By the 24th century, the planet had become an inhabited world with 8,000 people living in scattered settlements on a southern peninsula. This timeline was erased when the crew of the Defiant discovered their descendants, and the future version of Odo that existed in this time reprogrammed the ship's flight plan to avoid the accident, thus giving his other self another chance at love with Kira Nerys. (DS9: "Children of Time")
Inhabitants of Gaia
- 22nd century
- 24th century