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 like?

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 violet-to-red range?

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 or Alien realistic?

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.

Are you an artist? Can you draw concepts/creatures relating to the fourth dimension?

Go to my home page which includes web kudos and awards for the Wishing Project, as well as computer art, educational puzzles, fractals, virtual caverns, JAVA/VRML, alien creatures, black hole artwork, and animations.