Saturday, 5 March 2016

Why Everything You Might Know About Aliens Could Be Wrong

What if aliens have visited us but we just haven't recognised them? Perhaps Hollywood has lied to us about what aliens look like and we just don't know what to look out for. Here is my theory on why we haven't yet had contact with aliens (or we may have had ) and what an alien invasion would look like based on this theory:

Aliens As Single Celled Organisms
We usually hear about aliens being portrayed as white or green slender humanoid creatures albeit with enlarged craniums and gigantic eyes. Or we imagine something from Men In Black, a H.R. Giger painting or the movie Alien or AVP. What if these common alien stereotypes are waaayy off the truth?

Alien Stereotypes: Roger from American Dad

Though what if the large majority of aliens weren't around our size at all? What if they were in fact much, much smaller to the point that we would need a microscope to see them? Yes, I am suggesting that many aliens could in fact be microscopic single-celled organisms. People seem too preoccupied with Hollywood depictions of aliens to consider for a second that aliens may in fact be too small to be seen with the naked eye.

An extremophile refers to a living organism which can survive in conditions humans can't. An example of this is the Tardigrade aka "miniature water bear" which you can read watch a video about here. How does this relate to aliens? Well if you look at what the living conditions would be like on other planets you'd see sometimes that they are significantly hotter or colder than those on Earth. There are a number of different categories of extremophiles and some can even survive with extremely limited water or oxygen. In fact scientists have been looking into the extremophiles on Earth for clues to possible alien life! Check out this article on about how Earth's extromophiles could help us find aliens.
Side note: Really cute Tardigrade e-card to send to a loved one~

Aliens As Pathogens
Every bit of alien fiction has led us to believe that aliens but - if aliens are single-celled organisms (which would include bacteria) as my previous post has highlighted - what would happen as a worst-case-scenario if said aliens were to invade? Simple. Unless they somehow ended up harmless, we've be in for one massive pandemic. It'd be like Plague Inc in real life. We as a population simply wouldn't have the antibodies to match the alien antigens and as such - to simplify things using less fancy scientific terminology - we'd be doomed! In fact the idea has been suggested before and been a topic of some scary science fiction! Cross-species diseases such as SARS and the Avian Flu have often made news... just imagine the headlines if bacteria from an asteroid from, say, Jupiter were to land on Earth and end up being pathogenic.

Reader question: What do you think of these theories and how plausible they are? Do you think we're at bigger danger of an alien pathogen infecting humanity or should we instead be investing in preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse?

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