Ok, nobody knows what aliens actually look like. Not officially at least. Yes, there are thousands of published documents about UFOs and alien encounters along with eyewitness testimony.
Yes, Hollywood has done a decent job of imagining what they would look like (maybe). But nobody seems to have definitive proof or any theories of what an intelligent extraterrestrial species might look like.
So let’s make some fun guesses:
Let’s look at we know about ourselves. We only live to an average of around 70 years so long-duration space travel that goes beyond our solar system is impossible without extraordinarily fast engines. To engage and fully commit to interstellar travel, we’ll have to develop warp or faster-than-light travel. Even if we do in a few centuries, can the human body and mind withstand such a thing?
Robots (especially artificially intelligent ones) could prove useful in this endeavor given that they never grow old and can carry an unlimited amount of knowledge and data. This is why artificially created representatives could be encountered in the universe, sent by civilizations who simply cannot survive the long journey through space and who don’t have the technology to solve that problem just yet. Imagine an alien came to our solar system and went to Mars first. That alien would probably encounter one of our rovers and either be confused or smart enough to know that it is a drone for another species.
How do we tell what’s artificial or not? The only thing we can go on is the difference between organic and inorganic material.
These evil bastards. They seem to pop up everywhere in science fiction and have been featured in the X-Files. A suspicious amount of abductee testimonies mention thin grey aliens with large heads and large eyes. It’s pretty common and no one really knows if pop culture invented it or it was born out a witness testimony. Either way, stay away from these sorts. They like to stick probes in places and leave you abandoned in a cow field. They also like to mess with crops.
Crop circles may look cool but they do a lot of damage and eat away into farmers’ profits.
The universe is a strange place. Close your eyes and think of any giant random shape in any color floating above your head. That could be an alien. An intelligent lifeform could literally look like anything because we know so little about the Universe. Even humans are pretty strange looking. The lesson here is be prepared to have a chat with something that looks like a cloud of blue gas or a floating bunch of broccoli. As we are learning more and more, even the most basic of lifeforms have some form of inter-species communication and some form of higher intellect.
Have you ever seen a bug where there shouldn’t be one? A really really strange looking bug? Something to think about.
I’m not trying to go all ‘Ancient Aliens’ on you guys but we all know the story: Many of the ancient (damn) Egyptian Gods are theorized to be beings from another world and helped build things humans couldn’t build otherwise, like the pyramids.
Same deal. Ancient scriptures are littered with stories of flying vehicles and super beings with very wonderful skin colors. The many gods of Hinduism rule for centuries at a time and are thought to spend their time on other planets (this is a literally the term used by Hindus throughout the world). Problem? They like to destroy. They are mostly loving and benevolent but when angered, tend to wipe out everything.
File this under “I wasn’t trying to go all ‘Ancient Aliens’ but I did.”
If you encounter a Hindu or Egyptian god somewhere out there in the universe, the only thing you can really do is kneel. Best we can do with the information we have.
SpaceX employee from the future
You’ll probably run into a future astronaut/engineer who is simply going about her business in the year 2443. Suddenly, when the ship gets too close to a temporal anomaly, she slips back in time. If she’s not born on Earth and her family has been in space for a few generations, she’s pretty far from human. She’ll likely be much taller with pale skin and extremely gifted in science and engineering. Spacefaring humans will be without the means to make a culture for themselves. There will hardly be music, art, cinema when we are traveling through the long expanse of space. These things will return once we find new worlds to colonize but that’s easier said than done. Humans will likely spend a few generations traveling on large spaceliners or occupying space stations before really making a new home somewhere. If you encounter a human from the future, tell them the story of Luke Skywalker. I’d bet they never heard it before.
That’s right. There are a few solid theories out there involving the existence of parallel universes. And did I stress enough how incredibly weird the universe is? Be prepared to encounter thine self and more importantly, be prepared to be shocked. You think you know what you’re like in the eyes of another person? Parallel universes also imply parallel lives. Are these lives different? Are you rich and famous in one universe and homeless in another? What you’ll learn from encountering your many selves is that ultimately, we become what our experiences made us to be. Keeping that in mind, meeting yourself somewhere out there in the universe may actually mean meeting someone far different than yourself.