There has been much speculation over the years about whether or not extraterrestrial life exists. The idea of alien life has captured our imagination since ancient times and continues to fascinate us today.
There is no doubt that some of the most interesting questions in science revolve around the possibility of other intelligent beings existing elsewhere in the universe.
In recent decades, scientists have become increasingly interested in finding out whether or not we are alone in the cosmos.
This interest was sparked by several factors including the discovery of planets orbiting nearby stars, and the growing realization that there might be many more habitable worlds within our solar system than previously thought.
The search for extraterrestrials (ETs) has also been influenced by popular culture. Science fiction writers such as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, and Robert Heinlein speculated about what ETs might look like.
In this article, we look at these speculations in closer detail to work out just what aliens might look like and judge whether animals on Earth might hold the answer to this question.
What Are Aliens?
The word ‘alien’ comes from the Latin word Alienus meaning ‘stranger’. It is used when describing people who live far away from you. For example, if you were to meet someone living in Australia then they would be an alien to you.
In biology, the term ‘Alien’ refers to any organism which does not belong to the same species as another.
In physics, the term ‘aliens’ is used to refer to objects which do not follow Newtonian mechanics. Examples of non-Newtonian objects include black holes, neutron stars, and quasars.
In chemistry, the term ‘Aliens’ is used to denote chemical compounds which are made up of atoms that cannot be found naturally on earth. Some examples include xenon, radium, and uranium.
But what about when it comes to space? In space, aliens are known as creatures from other star systems. These may be either single-celled organisms or multicellular organisms. They could even be intelligent civilizations.
However, one thing is certain: if they exist, they will be very different from anything we know here on Earth.
What Do Aliens Look Like?
If we take a step back and consider how similar our planet is to other planets, we can begin to appreciate how little we know about alien life forms.
We don’t completely understand how life began on Earth because we only have a few billion years of fossilized evidence to study.
We do know that life on this planet shares common characteristics with all lifeforms.
But, since life is so diverse, extraterrestrial lifeforms may share similarities with plants, fungi, bacteria, insects, fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, amphibians, and even invertebrates.
Since we have never seen any form of life outside of Earth, we don’t know exactly what aliens will look like. But, based on the information available, we can make some educated guesses.
Let’s start with simple things first. If aliens are multicellular, they will probably be composed of cells of various sizes. Cells are the basic building blocks of life. Most cells contain DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and minerals.
Remember also that life arises from natural selection. Life adapts to its environment which means aliens will have evolved from simple aliens to problem solvers on their planet.
Problems such as finding food, avoiding becoming food, and reproducing will have eventually become natural to them.
Since humans also adapt and these problems are Earthly problems, when we look at how Earth animals solve them, we can see how aliens might do as well.
When it comes to how they function, the most obvious way for aliens to be organized is by using a central nervous system. This allows them to communicate with each other and coordinate movements.
This is something we already use today. Our brains are our central nervous system and allow us to think, feel, remember, learn, and perform tasks.
How Would They Live?
Like Earth creatures, aliens will need energy. Energy comes from either sunlight or any other type of heat, or through the consumption of other life forms
Aliens may use space travel, but they also need to eat. All life needs energy and this includes aliens. They will probably hunt down prey, and they will need to be fast or stealthy.
Prey will need to defend themselves by camouflaging or by armoring themselves. Aliens will either be solitary or social. They might group up to keep safe from predators.
Like on Earth, some aliens might solve their problems by grouping together. This is similar to how wolves hunt in a pack and zebras stay in a herd.
How Could Aliens Be Organized?
A way for an alien civilization to organize itself would be through a hierarchy. Hierarchical organizations are often associated with large groups of people who work together to achieve a goal.
Humans are good at this type of organization because we have been doing it for thousands of years.
An example of this is the Roman Empire where citizens were organized into tribes, then cities, then provinces, and finally countries.
Another way for aliens to organize themselves would be through a network. A network is a group of computers connected. It is used to transfer data between computers and to connect devices.
So, if we assume that extraterrestrials are intelligent enough to build a network, they could easily create a network of computers. These computers could then be linked to satellites, drones, or space vehicles.
They could also link up to other networks around the world.
So, let’s say that there is a network of computers located on a planet called “Earth 2”. Then, imagine that there is a computer on the surface of a moon orbiting Earth 2.
That computer could then send messages to Earth 1, which is located on the surface of another moon orbiting Earth 2.
If you want to get technical, you could call Earth 1 “Planet X” and Earth 2 “Planet Y”. So, Planet X has a computer on its surface that communicates with Planet Y via satellite.
If aliens are organized hierarchically, they could be structured like the United Nations. Each country would represent a different level of government.
For instance, the President of the US represents the highest level of government. Below him/her are the governors representing state governments.
And below those are the mayors representing city governments. Finally, below all of those are the local leaders representing townships and villages.
Would Aliens Be Symmetrical?
Living beings on Earth began on the seafloor, which means our ancestors would have crawled. Aliens that evolved on a floor would crawl too. Yet if you crawl, you have a front and a back, and usually a left and a right side too.
If aliens did have left-right symmetry they would also have an even number of legs. However, without symmetry, you could have as many legs as you could imagine.
Symmetrical animals move faster than non-symmetrical and it is thought this is the case for aliens. That doesn’t mean that circular or triangular aliens do not exist, however.
If we think about how aliens evolved it might be that they could evolve in a bottomless ocean and being circular had its advantage, where there’s no advantage to crawling.
We hope this article helped answer your question: What do aliens look like? We know that life found on Earth started from the seafloor and evolved over millions of years.
Most scientists believe that life first appeared on Earth 3.5 billion years ago. From this research and studying animals on Earth already, we can give a good estimate of what aliens might look like and how they might be organized!
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