Alien Chamber: Questions Regarding Alien Lifeforms
Questions regarding alien life in the far future, aliens in pop culture,
life on dark worlds, first contact, and more...
If you are a teacher, try
these on your students.
Alien Question 1: From Here to Eternity
Many astrophysicists believe that 10**100 years from now, after
even black holes have radiated away their energy, our universe will
consist of a diffuse sea of electrons. (This assumes that the
cosmos expands forever because its density of matter is too low for
gravity to slow it down. Recent observations seem to favor such an
"open" universe.) Any lifeforms that depended on water and organic
compounds have vanished, but there may be a network of structures,
spread out over unimaginable large distances, and these organized
structures could store information. According to astrophysicist
Gregory Laughlin, these structures, made out of whatever materials
are available, will have extraordinarily low energy and will unfold
extraordinarily slowly, but in some sense, given long amounts of
time, the structure may always continue to exit in the universe.
Could these structures be living? What would their lives be
Alien Question 2: Life on Brown Dwarfs
Some scientists speculate that creatures might evolve in the
absence of sunlight on "brown dwarfs" -- hypothetical planet-like
objects that emit heat and could contain liquid water. The warm
dwarfs would glow brightly in the deep infrared, and this might be
exploited by organisms, both for vision and photosynthesis. A dwarf
10 times the size of Jupiter would produce the right amount of heat
for liquid water.
What strange aliens might develop in the absence of light in the
Of course one big problem with life on these worlds would be the
enormous gravitation force on the surface of lifeforms. Could
creatures endure this? Perhaps they could if they were aquatic.
Is it true that if such creatures were small (like the ant which
can lift 160 times its own weight), they could survive? Could an
ant survive and walk around on a world with 100 times our gravity?
Would such creatures be warm-blooded or cold-blooded? Would the
develop eyes to see in the infra-red or would they develop thermal
sensors like snakes? What chemical composition would they have?
Alien Question 3: First Contact
Could aliens, even if coming with only peaceful intentions, do
what the Europeans did to the Indians when they came to America --
bring viruses to which the Europeans had immunity but the Indians
(or Hawaiians, for that matter) did not?
Alien Question 4: Pop Culture
Is there any interesting scene from pop culture (e.g. movies
like Independence Day) that causes you to stop and say "but wait,"
and "what if"?
Alien Question 5: Directed Panspermia
Consider the hypothesis that billions of years ago aliens attempted
to send spores through outerspace in order to seed life in Earth's
primitive seas. Is it true that even one surviving bacterium from
space dropped into such an ocean would be enough to "infect" such an
ocean and set in motion the long evolution culminating in more
complex life forms?
Alien Question 6: Attack of the High-Gravity Creatures
Can we speculate on how creatures from high-gravity brown dwarfs
(question 1) might attack earth? What Hollywood-ish scene can you
imagine that also conforms to scientific logic (biology and physics)?
Alien Question 7: The Lonely Alien
Some aliens in science fiction novels lead essentially solitary
lives. Are there any examples of Earthly lifeforms that live
essentially solitary existences?
Alien Question 8: Alien Appearances
What do you think aliens would really look like? Do you have a
favorite alien in pop culture (movies, books, TV shows)? If so, do
you believe an alien could have these characteristics, or is
its appearance and behavior far-fetched from a scientific
standpoint? Were the aliens in the movie Independence Day
Alien Question 9: Messenger Appearance
Perhaps an advanced civilization is sending message-carrying robots,
or "Messengers," to orbit stars and await the possible awakening of
civilizations on one of that star's planets. What would such a
Messenger look like? Would it have a head, body, and limbs, or would
it look more like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey? Would the
Messenger robot seem like an intelligent being to us? Could they
already be here in our solar system, hiding in some crater of the moon
until we are ready?
Alien Question 10: Alien Humor
A tentacled alien from Alpha Centuri writes the number "12345,"
while his partner slices off his left tentacle. They both break out
in laughter. This leads me to my next question. Do you you think
intelligent alien lifeforms would have any sense of humor? What
strange analogous sense(s)/reactions might they have? Do all highly
intelligent lifeforms eventually acquire something like humor? If
they found something funny that we find painful, could we get along?
Please send me your own joke that aliens might find funny.
If you had midi/audio capability, you would be hearing music right now
similar to the type of music aliens might be listening
to. You would also
be seeing a music player in this section.
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