We humans yearn for new, interesting, attractive species – for exciting aliens that look like ourselves, who are (so to speak) our relatives but who have to offer something special, too. We want to be astonished, but not scared by a very special characteristic of extraterrestrial beings. Fortunately, we leave it to the media world, that often adapt the appearance of the fictional aliens in dependence of their danger levels, to spread fear regarding the aliens. But how could real intelligent aliens look like and what is purely fictional? What do the experts say to the probable appearances of the aliens?
Ugly, scary, sweet or vulnerable: The appearance of aliens in media
At this point, all people of the world know the same for sure: No one knows definitely how alien life forms would look like. Or is there perhaps a small group of people who could tell us? Can the poor victims, who were abducted by aliens, remember the appearance of their perpetrators? Could intelligent aliens perhaps be at Area 51, the secret, military, restricted area in America? What do the experts think?
No science, no proved knowledge or pictures of and about aliens can limit the fantastic imagination of the media.
However, the media are pleased to respect our desire to find aliens as our „brothers“ and „sisters“ in the Galaxy, who show human-like motives and behavior and therefore are predictable and familiar to us. So, we viewers or readers can understand these aliens and their acting faster and extensive background knowledge on their characters and anatomy is not additionally required.
A human-like alien in movies and series can be performed more convincingly by a popular „human“ actor who attracts viewers and fans. For all these reasons, there are many human-like extraterrestrial life forms in films and series in the science fiction genre.
However, strange aliens were enthusiastically accepted by the audience too, as long as the shown extraterrestrial characters are credible. A dinosaur-like creature can accordingly be only a carnivore, wicked and very hungry (like in „Alien“ movies). An alien who crashed helpless on Earth and has big, sad eyes only wants to „phone home“ and is still the most common example of „sweet aliens to love“ today ( „E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial“).
In order to equip a film hero or movie villain with an „inhuman“ character trait, elements of the fantasy genre or science fiction are optionally used (for example, „Superman“ (alien) and „Spiderman“ (bitten by a radioactive experimental spider).
Of course the media world also creates extraterrestrial beings with every conceivable fantasy, such as energy beings, gas beings, gel beings, multidimensional beings or creatures that can change their shape as they want. Depending on the appearance in which they are shown, they can be humorous, witty, dangerous or helping. The main point is that we viewers and readers are convinced that the appearance and characteristics of this strange extraterrestrial life form fits together satisfactorily and we can notice easily who is the villain and who is the hero.
How does a real intelligent alien likely look like?
Scientists such as physicists, astronomers and the exo- and astrobiologists are muling over the likely appearance of an intelligent alien for years and are pursuing several theories.
The following video with catch pictures and a text that represents the dilemma on this issue is very interesting to watch:
Short conclusion of the video: Even leading scientists and experts disagree about how aliens might look like.
The „construction“ of humans is so ingenious that it is probably applicable to other intelligent creatures, where this construction could have prevailed during their evolution. But on the other hand there are already so many different „designs“ of more or less intelligent life forms on earth that it seems to be unlikely that just extraterrestrial lifeforms had the appearance of a human. In addition, exoplanets could have considerably different living conditions as we have on earth, such as a higher or lower mass of the planet, which would help determine gravity and thus the nature of the creatures there and their appearance.
A different example of a completely different condition of an exoplanet could be an extreme heat or cold. The heat or cold of an exoplanet can determine the chemical and biological components of aliens. So these extraterrestrial creatures need not necessarily consist of carbon and / or water. The aliens could consist of liquid methane, ammonia, silicon crystals or sulfur depending on the temperature difference of an inhabited exoplanet, although this is not imaginable on the basis of laws of nature we know today. These are also the arguments of the renowned scientists, but are we really absolutely sure that we already have explored all natural laws and that these laws are actually valid throughout the large space as well as on earth?
In any case it is likely that different living conditions on the exoplanets together with the evolution there have led to a different appearance of extraterrestrial intelligent life forms in comparison to the human ones.
Human-like creatures are therefore conceivable only on extraterrestrial planets with the same conditions as on the Earth including the evolution processes.
And do we know, if we can see the aliens with our on our living requirement specialised eyes and if they have a „form“ and a „look“ at all?
Everything is possible, nothing proven
So this articles ends as it began: Everything is possible and nothing is known concerning the likely appearance of intelligent extraterrestrial beings.
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Sources / further information
Kindle Book: Dr. Blume, Michael, Sind wir allein im All? Die Faszination von UFOs, Aliens und SETI (sciebooks 2) (sciebooks.de, 2012) Kindle-Edition (German)