Have you ever wondered what aliens would look like if we encountered them today? Do you expect to see humanoid beings, with characteristics similar to us? Or do you think aliens would look almost unrecognizable to us? Here is what scientists have to say.
The discovery of Earth-like planets has become extremely frequent in the last couple of years thanks to different technologies available to astronomers. This has prompted scientists around the world to wonder what ‘real’ aliens would look like if of course, they are out there.
Would they be similar to humans? Or would they be something entirely different, and have no apparent similarities to humans?
These are questions we cannot answer when talking about aliens today.
Several astrobiologists have been consulted regarding the physiognomy of living beings that could exist in several of the moons in our solar system, with possibilities of lodging microbial life.
Doug Vakoch, president of METI International—a project that searches the cosmos for radio signals emitted from outer space, said that no one should expect to meet physically similar beings to humans outside of Earth.
Instead, Vakoch thinks that Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons could be home to life forms that feed on hydrogen, located deep under the icy crust.
However, he noted that “the waters of Enceladus are so cold that it would be difficult to imagine a life that developed larger than bacteria.”
In turn, NASA astrobiologist Rocco Manicelli agreed with his colleague in assuring that such an extreme environment does not leave many possibilities for multicellular life forms.
Instead, in his view, it would be a bacterial world.
If aliens were to be found, Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at SETI, believes that alien life would not be humanoid in nature, but rather look like insects on Earth.
Furthermore, Catlin Ahrens, an astrophysicist at the University of Arkansas, stressed that extraterrestrial life would not necessarily be based on carbon, as it happens on Earth, but could rely on other types of ingredients, such as sulfur.
This opens many different doors, meaning that there could be life in the universe that could inhabit extreme environments like the surface of stars or even inside black holes, and we wouldn’t know about them since we expect life to be similar to ours.
Interestingly, several astronomers including those at SETI believe that despite the fact that we are unable to explore the universe extensively, we could find intelligent life on other planets over the next 20 years.
However, astronomers also suggest that if we do find evidence of alien life in the universe, communicating with ‘them’ would be an entirely different issue.
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