As human astronomers scan the heavens, trying to locate alien life, they generally assume they know what they’re looking for: a planet similar to Earth. They’ve confirmed the discovery of hundreds of worlds, but none are quite like our little, blue planet. So astronomers keep searching, but what if they’ve overlooked something? What if Earth is not typical of life-bearing planets?
To get a better sense of what astronomers should be looking for, I reached out to a few extra-terrestrial friends to ask what they think of life on Earth. Here’s what they said:
- Eiol of the planet Sisip: Life on Earth? How could it get by with all the planet’s water sloshing around in liquid form? Ice is far more convenient. It’s easier to transport, it’s harder for contaminates to mix in, and it makes a satisfying crunch sound when you chew it.
- Dr. Ullumon of Cygnus: Carbon-based life is impossible. Complex organisms can’t develop from an element as plain and ordinary as carbon. Perhaps one day we might find silicon-based life with carbon impurities, but no living thing could truly be based on carbon.
- Globitarto of the Tartonians: All life forms require the nourishment of cosmic radiation, but Earth is enveloped in a magnetic field which blocks most of that radiation from reaching the planet’s surface. Stories about intelligent life on Earth make good science fiction, but I’m afraid it’s scientifically implausible for anything to survive in that radiation-poor environment.
- Vivi Gol of the planet Poxx: If there’s life on Earth, surely the Martians would have discovered it by now. Why haven’t they said anything?
When I told my extra-terrestrial friends that I am from Earth, most of them laughed, and Dr. Ullumon suggested I seek medical attention for all the carbon contamination he found in the blood samples I provided. Just goes to show how difficult it is for some people to imagine life forms that are different from themselves.