#Alien #ET – If Alien Life Does Exist, What Does ET Look Like? : Scientists working on Stephen Hawking’s Breakthrough Listen project hope to make contact with intelligent alien life, but when that development finally happens what will ET look like?
The truth is no one really knows.
That’s because there’s no actual scientific field of study focused on the structure of alien bodies or whether they would have tentacles, appear as little green men, or exist as a hive mind. The field of astrobiology only deals with finding extraterrestrial environments where scientists could discover basic organisms that could one day evolve.
For now, NASA is focusing its search for life on worlds that appear in the goldilocks habitable zone and contain liquid water because we’re searching for beings that basically resemble humans.
On Earth, life has evolved to be symmetrical: two eyes, two arms, two legs; and to be water based, but that doesn’t necessarily need to hold true for life throughout the universe, as science fiction author Aaron Rosenberg told Popular Mechanics.
“Bilateral symmetry is actually a pretty crappy design, when you think about it. Yes, it looks nice and even but what’s the point? Why have two sides exactly the same when you could have something completely different on the other side?”
There are some basic requirements for an alien species. They would need to have brain capacity and a way to protect the brain like an exoskeleton or skull along with digits able to manipulate objects to create tools, although not necessarily an opposable thumb.
Alien life would also need to find a way to reproduce, sense the world around them, a way to consume energy and excrete waste along with the ability to communicate, as Northeastern University Professor Harry Keller told Popular Mechanics.
“The skin covering could be anything that makes sense. Real feathers are not so likely. Because feathers are used for flight, brains will be small. Scales are unlikely because they are particularly well-adapted for ectotherms, although a scaly sort of skin might be possible. If furry, our aliens probably have short fur.”
Alien life also wouldn’t necessarily need to be water based. NASA researcher Chris McKay helped publish a 2005 paper theorizing the existence of methane-based life forms on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. These life forms would breathe in hydrogen, acetylene and ethane, and exhale methane instead of carbon dioxide, according to Space.
The evolution of alien life would be highly influenced by the properties of the world that life developed on. Higher gravity, a thinner atmosphere, and proximity of the alien world to its star would all have an effect on the way life evolved. The need to chase down prey would mandate some form of propulsion: legs, tentacles, or flippers.
That’s still narrowing down the structure of alien beings to specifics that might not be true. Aliens could have evolved to be sentient clouds or beings with changeable bodies able to morph into whatever shape is needed at the moment. Maybe they can sail through space and feed on stellar radiation.
On Earth, almost all life needs sunlight to survive, but Dimitra Atri from the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle, Washington found a tiny South African organism that survives by absorbing matter that uranium radioactivity has broken down into edible pieces, according to Cosmos.
“Radiation coming out of radioactive rocks breaks the molecules in the surrounding medium, which otherwise were useless for life, which the bug uses for its metabolism.”
Alien life forms could survive the same way on a planet with no atmosphere although they’re likely to be simple organisms.
The truth is, there’s simply no way to know what form intelligent alien life will take until we find it. What do you think ET looks like? source:inquisitr