Have you ever looked at the stars at night and wondered what all is out there? We have all heard stories of people seeing UFOs, or stories of cows being abducted, but we have never been able to find credible, solid proof or at least a good picture. Does this mean that humans are alone in the universe?
Okay, let’s start with the basics. Everything we know today is made of atoms. Humans are made up of a bunch of atoms. What you are reading this on is made up of atoms. Even the Earth is made up of countless atoms. These atoms came from this huge explosion that created the universe and sent pure energy hurdling all over space. Once all of this energy cooled down, stars started to form and then these stars grouped to form galaxies. In our galaxy, the Milky Way, astronomers have reported that there are 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting their stars in the habitable zone. That means that there are 40 billion other planets out there that could possibly sustain life (as we know it) in our galaxy.
Now this is where it gets crazy. Astronomers have estimated that there are nearly 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. So, if the other galaxies out there are like the Milky Way, that means that there are potentially 4e²¹ planets out there that can sustain life (four with 21 zeros). With huge numbers like this, shouldn’t it be likely that we would have seen or heard some signal from space? Well, it would be difficult to say with the sheer size of space. On a dark and clear night, it has been said that humans can see 2,500 stars with their eyes. That means we can see only see a tiny fraction of our galaxy. The size of space is a good reason why we have not seen any aliens, but some still believe that they are out there, and we should have seen them by now. This is where the theories come in.
Theory 1 – Aliens may have visited Earth, but there was no way to be able warn the future.
Recorded history only goes back around 5,500 years, and humans have been on Earth for about 200,000 years. That is a solid 194,500 years where aliens could have abducted some random group of hunter-gathers or struck down a bunch of turtles. We have no way of knowing if this actually happened. Some even believe that earlier humans were visited by aliens, such as the Egyptians, who some speculate may have been helped by aliens to build the pyramids, or even aliens carved images on the Earth like the Nazca Lines.
Theory 2 (My personal favorite) – The Milky Way is colonized, but we just live in a small boring corner where nobody goes. We all know about Antarctica, but very few people ever go there. It is such an uneventful continent that it just doesn’t seem worth it to take the time to travel down there. Now picture this. Maybe it takes years to get to Antarctica, but imagine Antarctica is Earth. There might be many civilizations that have colonized a lot of planets in the Milky Way, but none of them want to waste their time to come see a random planet that just had a bunch of turtles the last time they visited.
Theory 3 – There is a predator species in space which kill any other species that starts becoming too advanced. We live on a fairly young planet, with a fairly young star. Perhaps one of the first species to ever exist is advanced enough that they became a predator species that can keep tabs on everything in the universe. Once another species starts to advance to the level of the predators, the predator species comes in and wipes them all out. We broadcast signals into space everyday and wait for any sort of sign. There is a constant debate on if we should broadcast signals or not because if any aliens came to Earth it probably means bad news for us. If they are capable of mass space travel, then they are capable of mass extinction. We would become the Aztecs, and the aliens would become the Spaniards.
Theory 4 – Earth is a big experiment and aliens are watching us and experimenting with us. Maybe aliens have placed humans on Earth to watch us and observe us like a sort of zoo. If a far more advanced species were out there, they would probably be able to watch us without letting us know. Think about fish in a fish farm. All the fish know is that small area around them; all they worry about is living. Humans could easily be the same way. When humans spot UFOs, it might be just be aliens messing up and allowing us to see them.
Many people want to believe in aliens. It is hard not to believe in them with everything we know about space. If they do exist, they are probably harmless, and the only thing that will tell is time.