Alien Scenarios – WIF Speculation

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Scenarios:

If Aliens Landed

on Earth

It’s time for some good, old-fashioned speculation. What would happen if aliens visited earth? Now, the speculation and assumptions we’re about to make are based on logic, philosophy, educated guesses, probabilities, nature, and of course, our own history. After all, our frame of reference is quite limited when it comes to possible encounters with extraterrestrial life. So, we have to imagine the most plausible scenarios, as well as try to think outside the box as much as possible.

 If intelligent alien species were to discover Earth (if they haven’t already), will they just take a look and decide it’s not worth the hassle to deal with our primitive ways, or will they enrich our lives with knowledge beyond our current understanding? Will we recognize them as life in the first place, or will they treat us like we would a nasty parasite?

10. Aliens in History

Our biggest fear when it comes to alien encounters has a lot to do with our own history, and what we know can happen if a technologically advanced civilization encounters an inferior one. Let’s take a look at the Age of Discovery, and particularly the Colonization of the Americas at the turn of the 16th century. As many of us know, the Europeans were looking to find alternative roots to India due in part to the break-up of the Mongol Empire, which up until the 15th century assured safe passage for trade caravans on land. And secondly, because of the Ottoman Turks, who took over the East Mediterranean and were hostile towards the Europeans.

As a result, they took to the oceans, virtually stumbling upon the Americas in 1492. The technological difference between the Native Americans and the “alien” Europeans was, at best, a few centuries apart. But that small difference proved fatal for the natives. In fact, with a handful of conquistadors, a few native allies, several horses, and a few cannons, Hernan Cortes was able to singlehandedly bring down the mighty Aztec Empire. If an alien species were ever to visit us, the same thing might happen, but on a global scale.

After all, if an intelligent species is capable of interstellar flight and reaching Earth from a faraway star system, then you can be sure they’re likely thousands of years ahead of us in technological terms. And like the Aztecs, who had the numbers and the weapons to defeat Cortes and his men, they had little chance in standing in his way. And even if they did, that would have only postponed their inevitable demise at the hands of the technologically superior Europeans, who now knew of their existence. Even Stephen Hawking has a dire warning for the human race when it comes to alien species: “The history of advanced races meeting more primitive people on this planet is not very happy, and they were the same species. I think it would be a disaster.”

9. The Cultural Shock and Ensuing Panic

If alien species ever decide to pay us a visit, there are several near certainties that would happen, regardless of those aliens’ intentions toward us. For starters, if we were to wake up one morning with a huge spaceship hovering above our house, and then hear reports of similar sightings all over the world, we can be fairly certain that panic would ensue. Even if we humans are inquisitive by nature, we’re not really fond of surprises, especially of that magnitude. This reaction would stem, of course, primarily from past experiences in our own history.

Moreover – and this shouldn’t come as a surprise – we’d be hit with an enormous wave of cultural shock. Even in this age of technological advancements, when people are more connected than ever, there are still large numbers of people who cannot and will not accept other people’s cultures, traditions, or different ways of thinking. But, for better or worse, we have had previous contacts with each other over the centuries, and even though we’re still not used to other opinions or points of view, we are somewhat influenced and accepting of them… to a certain degree.

But what would happen if we come across a species which will most likely look totally different, and maybe have a totally different view about life, and existence itself? Will they be religious, or not? Do they even need to eat, and if so, do they use mouths to do it? There is virtually an infinite number of things that can be construed as different, and if we still can’t accept other people’s habits and traditions, then we can be sure that we won’t accept alien ones. One good thing that might come out of all of this is that, if aliens visit Earth and decide to contact us, we will most certainly forget all of our current disagreements with each other, no matter how different or crazy they might see them today.

8. But What Would They Look Like?

We’re all familiar with the “Greys” as the generic alien. They’re… well, gray (duh), bipedal, and hairless, with big eyes and big heads, long fingers, shorter in stature than we are, and very skinny. But isn’t this more of an interpretation of how we might look in the far future? In fact, some theorize that, according to our own evolutionary trends, slowly but surely this is what humanity will turn out to be.

The first time these Gray Aliens made an appearance as presented here was in the 1893 article “Man of the Year Million,” written by famous author H.G. Wells. The article, as the title suggests, was an interpretation of how humans would look one million years into the future.

Anyway, chances are that aliens will look totally different than these “Greys.” But, nevertheless, for an intelligent species to evolve far enough in order to master space travel, it will need to be terrestrial. As Fermilab physicist Don Lincoln, puts it: “There could be alien cavemen underwater. But truly, you can’t smelt metal [down there],” meaning that dolphins, if left to their own devices, may one day become even more intelligent than they are today. But because they live underwater, it is highly unlikely that they’ll be able to develop any kind of moderately advanced technology.

Furthermore, there could be other similarities we’d share with technologically advanced alien species via a phenomenon evolutionary biologists call “convergent evolution.” This is a process through which organisms not closely related to each other independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar conditions. These include some organs, like the eye, or behavior, like pack predication. Humans have also developed similar scientific and technological advancements while completely isolated from each other; things like basic tools and weapons, language, writing, the domestication of plants and animals, and even mathematics.

But when it comes to the differences, it is more statistically probable that aliens would live on habitable planets unlike Earth, and will look unlike us humans. Again, even though we don’t have any other frames of reference other than what we see on our own planet, this is still enough for physicists and statisticians to come to the conclusion that the majority of alien species out there will be different than our own. Chances arethat they’ll be bigger than us, roughly 770 pounds – the size and weight of a polar bear. Moreover, they’ll be living in smaller groups than we do; some 20 million strong or less, and on smaller planets than Earth – less that 80% its size.

7. They’ll Most Likely be Machines, Though

Humans were able to invent the radio around the year 1900. Then, 45 year later, the first computer came into existence. And now, we’re able to manufacture relatively cheap devices with greater computing power than even the human brain itself. What’s more, artificial intelligence is not that far off in the foreseeable future. On this trend, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute Seth Shostak bases his prediction that any advanced form of intelligence we will encounter will take on the form of a machine. He believes that any alien civilization capable of space travel will also follow this path. He even states they’ll integrate technology into their bodies, to the point where there will be no more organic matter left. “It’ll be like — you build a four-cylinder engine. You put it in a horse to get a faster horse. And pretty soon you say, ‘Look, let’s get rid of the horse part and just build a Maserati,’” said Shostak“So that’s probably what’s going to happen.”

He goes on to say we humans are the result of 4 billion years of Darwinian evolution, based on random variations with no particular goal or master plan. But machines, on the other hand, are totally different. Their evolution is based solely on efficiency and improvement on older models. What’s more, machines don’t require a myriad of conditions in order to survive, like an Earth-like habitable planet, and they certainly wouldn’t be tied to their ancestral homes. As long as they have a steady supply of raw materials and energy – something which the universe certainly doesn’t lack – they will have no problem in traveling great distances or even living in outer space indefinitely. By this logic, Shostak believes that the best chance to find these machine beings is in the center of galaxies, where there’s lots of available energy. That, or wait another 30 or so years, until we invent autonomous AI for ourselves.

6. The “Perfect Utopia”

 At first glance, the best case scenario if aliens were to descend on Earth is for them to completely disregard our primitive and vengeful ways, and take us under their wing. They would then go on to teach us the way toward a utopic future where we not only live in harmony with them, each other, and the surrounding environment, but also continue on striving toward our own betterment, both technologically and socially. Sounds good, right? And hey, by the sheer size of the observable universe and the seemingly infinite number of planets out there, there could be at least a handful of alien species that have made it their business to seeking out underdeveloped ones, like ourselves, and lifting them up from their “uncivilized” ways. They could share with us new technologies and reforms for all sorts of things, in terms of medicine, society, energy, education, transport, and whatever else we might think of.

But the question here is whether this is the best thing for us in the long run? Be careful what you wish for, right? Being exposed to too much technology and too much change, too fast, can have dire repercussions on society. After all, it took us an incredibly short amount of time from when nuclear weapons were invented, to when we first used them on other people. It was war, yes, but still – the effects of radiation and radiation poisoning were barely understood. Or what about fossil fuels? They are, indeed, an incredible source of energy, almost unequalled in terms of caloric value per pound (which is the reason we’re now struggling to find alternatives). And because of their awesome power potential, we’ve used them to the point where we are now faced with our own possible self destruction.

Indeed, some benevolent aliens could teach us to avoid these shortcomings and use powerful technologies responsibly. But in doing so, these aliens would make us completely dependent on them, and thus negate the whole “uplifting” thing in the first place. After all, there is no such thing as perfect, or a Utopia, and especially, there is no such thing as a pleonastic “perfect Utopia.” The only thing that exists, though, is our own striving toward these ideals.

5. Remote Observation or Indirect Guidance

Who here can, without a shadow of a doubt, say that aliens haven’t visited us already? Or who can say that they’re not here still? For better or worse, aliens could now be living among us and we would be none the wiser (Mickey Rourke, anyone?). They could also be orbiting our planet, hidden from sight and studying us continuously, avoiding interfering, and with the sole purpose of mapping out the universe and everything in it. This was, after all, the primary mission of Star Trek’s own Enterprise; to map the Milky Way galaxy and not interfere with the natural development of any life forms they might encounter.

There is, of course, the chance that these hypothetical observers might have a plan for us after all. By infiltrating our society, they could, slowly but surely, be influencing us in one direction or another. They could be trying to direct us towards a “Utopia” state without taking any of the credit, or they could have a more sinister goal in mind. And if this were to be the case, and they were trying to influence us in any direction, then chances are that their actions are not particularly aimed towards our own wellbeing,regardless of their intentions.

4. Divide and Rule

“Divide and rule” is a political, social, and military strategy through which one can gain or maintain power by breaking up other concentrations of power into more manageable pieces that individually can’t pose any serious threat. By causing and igniting rivalries and generating discord among people and groups of people, one can effectively break up already existing centers of power, or prevent smaller ones from ever coming together. Machiavelli identifies this idea as a military strategy in his sixth book from The Art of War series. Here he talks about any military captain and how he should, by any means possible, divide the enemy’s forces, either by making the other captain suspicious of his own men, or to somehow cause him to split his own army, becoming weaker as a result.

This strategy would make complete sense for any potential warlike alien species that wants to take over Earth with minimum casualties on their part. After all, even Hernan Cortes broke off parts of the Aztec Empire by drawing various peoples to his side first, before bringing the Aztec Empire to its knees. What’s more, these people who allied themselves with Cortes in favor of the ruling Aztecs ended up sharing the same fate. And by looking at the world today, we can, more or less, see these strategies being implemented, either by aliens or ourselves.

3. We Are Alone… or Maybe Just the First

Even though, statistically speaking, this is next to impossible, there’s still a faint chance that we are completely and utterly alone in the seeming infinite universe. Governed by the natural laws of physics and with the vast quantities of stuff around, some say anything that is possible, according to these laws, has already or will inevitably happen. This idea, however, weakens the claim that we’re alone even further, doesn’t it? But even so, after almost 14 billion years of the universe since the Bing Bang, space seems devoid of life with the exception of us. To be fair, though, we’ve just begun to stare into the abyss. But given these many opportunities for life to arise, and the ample time it’s had at its disposal to develop, shouldn’t we see alien spaceships zipping by on the “galactic highway” on a daily basis?

This seemingly inconsistent situation may have something to do with the Fermi Paradox. This principle simply states that complex life may have a way tougher time at developing than we previously thought, and the chances of any one advanced civilization to emerge are very slim. Maybe the exact conditions for complex life weren’t there up until fairly recently in the universe, making us among the first, if not the actual first intelligent species to emerge. Or maybe there are still some unforeseen hurdles ahead of us, or even some cosmic or highly-advanced alien traps that we’re not aware of, at which any civilization developed enough to reach them would be instantly destroyed. If this is the unfortunate case, then, according to our own level of technological development – some decades after actual space travel, and several centuries before interstellar travel – we are now closer to our end as a species, than to our inception.

2. Forever Lab Rats

Reality is, as many of us already know, inside our heads. And more importantly, reality is what the collective society believes it to be. Any deviation from that collective consciousness is seen by others who don’t share in it as either outdated, barbaric, backward, illogical, or even downright crazy. This idea also comes to us through Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Anyway, gravity, the Earth, your car, your friends, and possibly even you yourself, could be just your own perspective on what they are, and there could be a multitude of other faces to those particular “coins.” Humanity wasn’t handed any sort of guide book about life and where it’s going, so we had to make the rules ourselves as we went along. But did we? These sorts of questions can spark endless debates and may never be answered or even fully understood.

But for the sake of argument, if we were to take a lab rat and somehow tap into his mind and understand his thoughts, as simple as they may be, what do you think it would consider reality to be? Let’s suppose that the lab rat was bred in captivity and that he knew nothing else outside the cage he’s kept in, the room that cage is in, and the scientists who pass by. How do you think he would perceive the world in front of him? Normal, everyday reality of life would be the right answer. Then, who’s to say that we’re not currently living in our own cage, living out our normal, everyday lives while under constant scrutiny from an unknown intelligence, performing all sorts of experiments on us? Who’s to say we have to die in the first place? After all, scientists have discovered a built-in “self-destruct timer” in our very genes. So, if this is actually the case and we are actually lab rats under strict control from something or someone else, then do you think that we’ll ever escape our condition? Let’s ask the rats that question, or the scientists themselves.

1. The Natural Laws of Physics are… Alive

It’s theorized that the universe came into being approximately 13.8 billion years ago with the Big Bang. Subsequently, life on Earth appeared nearly the instant the planet formed, according to a new study, 4.1 billion years ago, and 300 million years earlier than previously believed. But between these two cosmic events there’s an almost 10 billion year gap in which we can’t really say what happened in terms of life. What if life began somewhere else? Let’s say, 5 billion years prior to life here on Earth? That’s quite a head start! Imagine you could go back into the past 200,000 years while driving a 4×4, wearing jeans, holding a smartphone, and handing out candy bars to all the early humans you meet. How would you appear in their eyes and minds? Now think about how a 5, or 6, or 8 billion-year-old alien civilization would look to us. You can’t. No one can. But some theorize.

 We could be staring alien life in the face and not even recognize it. Astrophysicist Caleb Scharf even goes as far as saying that the entire universe and all the physical laws of nature that go with it are possibly alive and a result of billions of years of technological evolution. This theory would explain why we haven’t yet encountered other life in the universe, regardless of the countless other planets it could have “sparked” on. He also states that, given the possibility of other building blocks suitable for life to exist outside of molecules, an alien civilization could then transfer itself and its entire physical world into that new form. By this logic, our universe could be just one of these new forms of existence. Scharf also points out that only about 5% of everything out there is matter as we know it, while 27% remains mysterious and unseen. This is what’s known as dark matter and it’s everywhere, even here on Earth. Dark matter is what holds the universe in its current state, and here, alien life could exist, all around us, but always hidden from our sight.

Alien Scenarios

– WIF Speculation

Perspective on the Universe – WIF Space Videos

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WIF Space2-001

Video Edition

Video Perspective

on the Universe

As we’ve mentioned a few times before, the fact that we are alive here is astonishing. In order to demonstrate exactly how amazing it is, we’ve rounded up a collection of videos that show our remarkable journey from the Big Bang, to the creation of the solar system, to the formation of the Earth, and finally the rise of humanity.

10. The History of the Universe

According to estimates from astrophysicists, the universe is 13.7 billion years oldand started with the Big Bang. In the first moments after the Big Bang, the universe was almost impossibly tiny. In a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, there was a period known as inflation and the universe grew to the size of an orange. Then three to 20 seconds after the Big Bang, the universe started to cool and expand, and hydrogen and helium, the simplest chemical elements, were born.

380,000 years after the Big Bang, the universe became transparent. After 400 million years of darkness, the first stars started lighting up. Then 300 million years later, when the solar system was only 700 million years old, galaxies began to form. Our solar system didn’t form until 9 billion years after the Big Bang. That means that our solar system is actually quite young in the universe, and just for some perspective of how young, please check out the simulation of the creation of the universe posted above.

9. The Known Universe

The video for this entry, from the American Natural History Museum, was created using their Digital Universe Atlas. The atlas is an ongoing project where researchers are mapping out the observable universe, and all the planets and stars are correct to scale. The simulation starts off in the Himalayan mountains and after a short time, Earth disappears into the distance as the simulation pushes us out billions of light years away from Earth.

What is perhaps more amazing than the size of the known universe is that by estimates, we only see four percent of the universe. The rest of the universe is full of mysterious substances called Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Yet, that four percent we do see is unfathomably big, even when we see a simulation of it.

8. The Size of Earth Compared to Other Stars and Suns

For millennia, the Earth was too big to consider traversing even small parts of it. Even with modern air travel, it still takes two days and 19 hours to circumvent it in a plane. But in cosmic terms, the Earth is actually rather small and there are four other planets in our solar system that are much bigger. As seen in the video above from BuzzFeed Blue, five Earths could fit into the ring of Saturn and compared to Jupiter, Earth looks like a marble because Jupiter is 11.2 times the size of Earth. When compared to the sun, the Earth is a barely visible dot because the sun is 109 times larger. But our sun is an insignificant speck compared to an Alpha Scorpii A. star, which is 700 times the diameter of the sun, and that isn’t even the biggest known star. That title belongs to the VY Canis Majoris, which is 1,540 times the size of the sun. If VY Canis Majoris was in the place of our sun, it would extend out past the orbit of Saturn.

What’s even more mind blowing is that stars are tiny compared to galaxies. For example, our galaxy, the Milky Way, is 100,000 light years in diameter, meaning it is about 678 trillion times the size of the sun. And again, that is small in comparison; the IC 1011 galaxy is 6 million light years wide, or 60 times the size of the Milky Way.

7.The Solar System and the Formation of the Earth

Our solar system has at least eight planets and five recognized dwarf planets that orbit a yellow dwarf star. Before our solar system existed, there was a cloud of helium, hydrogen, dust, and then over 4.5 billion years ago, a nearby star exploded in what is called a supernova, which caused the cloud to collapse. Over the course of 100,000 years, the cloud was flattened into a disc.

In the center of the disc, where the molecules are packed tightest, a proto-star developed and it got so hot that it underwent fusion, giving birth to our sun. The heat from the sun turned the dust into rocks and a number of these rocksclumped together, starting the formation of Earth.

6. How Deep is the Ocean

Around 4.5 billion years ago, the Earth first formed under heat and pressure and was bombarded with asteroids, meteors, and comets. It had an atmosphere that was poisonous and too hot for water to remain on the surface. A second atmosphere was made because of constant volcanic eruptions, and gases like methane and carbon dioxide were pumped into the atmosphere.

Then about 4.1 billion years ago, the Earth’s surface started to cool and the surface became rocky, which allowed rainwater to fill the oceans. The oceans are an amazing part of Earth and it is a requirement for life. Have you ever thought about how deep the ocean actually is? The video from BuzzFeed Blue gives an interesting cartoon to give some perspective on just how far down it goes.

5. How Tall is Mount Everest

On the other end of the spectrum from the deepest part of the ocean is the highest land point, which is the peak of Mount Everest, located in the Himalayas. Its creation started over 250 million years ago when the Earth had one continent called Pangaea. At the time, what is now India was in the Southern Hemisphere, attached to what are today Australia, South America, and Africa. After the super continent broke up, India spent millions of years moving towards its present day home in EuroAsia. When India hit the continent, it acted like a bulldozer and it pushed up the mountain range about 60 million years ago.

Mount Everest is 29,035 feet tall, more than 10 times higher than the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. To get an even better idea as to how tall it is, check out the video above. Also, in case you’re wondering what the distance from the lowest depth to the highest mountain peak, it is 65,236 feet, or 12.35 miles.

4. The Migration of Humans

Homo sapiens first appeared about 200,000 years ago and they most likely came from a single point in Africa. Around 130,000 years later, the weather changed because the Earth was in an ice age, and it is believed that the number of humans dwindled to just under 10,000. Luckily for us, the weather got better and human numbers went up.

60,000 years ago, the first group of humans left Africa. They migrated along the North Indian Ocean, through what is now the Middle East, Pakistan, India, and Southeast Asia. 10,000 years after leaving, they reached Australia. A second group left Africa around 50,000 years ago, crossed the Red Sea and then over the next 15,000 years became the populations of the Middle East and Central Asia.

About 40,000 years later, humans migrated to Europe from the Southeast. Then about 20,000 years ago, during the Last Glacial Maximum, a group of Asian hunters were able to cross a land bridge connecting Asia with North America because ice sheets in the North and South Poles had sucked up water, decreasing sea levels by more than 300 feet. 15,000 years ago, the Asian hunters reached the land surface of North America, and then within 1,000 years they made it all the way to the southern part of South America.

When agriculture was discovered 10,000 years ago, it became a cornerstone of human civilization and the first civilization is believed to have started about 6,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, which is modern day Iraq.

3. Time Lapse From the International Space Station

The discovery of agriculture was a pivotal moment in human history because one farmer could grow food for a group of people, so not everyone was needed for food collection like it was during hunter and gatherer days. This led to a division of labor, which, in turn, led to people being able to do different jobs. Having different jobs led to commerce and since people have never had a history of being fair with each other, this led to the court system and government, which in turn led to religion, and writing. All of this lay the foundation for societies that we live in today.

While humans were an endangered species 130,000 years ago, humans have recovered remarkably. By 1804, there were 1 billion people living on Earth. That population doubled 123 years later in 1927. In 1960, the population reached 3 billion and just 14 years later there were 4 billion people residing on Earth. Then, Earth reached the 5 billion mark in 1987, and surpassed 6 billion in 1999.

When the video above was posted in 2011, the population of the world reached 7 billion people. The video is a time lapse video from the International Space Station that shows both the beauty of the natural Earth, like the Aurora Borealis, and how much of an impact seven billion humans have on the planet.

2. Modern Human Life

One of the amazing things about human life is that we are all individuals with our own thoughts and feelings, yet we all came from the same place. We, and all our ancestors that came before us, were created through the fertilization of an egg from one of billions of sperm. We survived nine months in the womb and were born. We survived infancy and have survived every day until we have gotten to this very point in time.

For a lot of us, and this is especially true the older you get, sometimes it seems that time just flies by. Nothing perhaps represents that more than this video by Frans Hofmeester, who recorded his daughter, Lotte, for 15 seconds every day and then created this video in 2015, when Lotte was 16. It is a perfect metaphor for how quickly our life goes by, even if our lives are short in the cosmic sense.

1. The Future of Humanity

The universe has come a long way in 13.8 billion years. It started off as a tiny speck, then grew to the size of an orange and then expanded to encompass everything we know as existence. It is full of billions of galaxies, and one of those galaxies had a planet with rocky mountains and deep oceans, that was the perfect distance away from a perfect sized star and life developed on it. From that single cell of life, life forms evolved over millions of years, eventually becoming apes, who became homo sapiens and they migrated all over the world. About 10,000 years ago, we started the transition from hunters and gatherers to civilizations and our population has grown steadily since. There are currently 7.4 billion free thinking, emotional beings living on Earth and we all started from the same place. We’ve come so far and yet, there are so many places we have yet to go.

This video features famed silent film star Charlie Chaplin from his first film with sound, The Great Dictator. In it, Chaplin explains the stark beauty of humanity and what we can do when we work together. Because while we’re all individuals, we all come from the same place and all that can be traced back to the microscopic speck at the start of the Big Bang.

Perspective on the Universe

– WIF Space Videos

The Theoretical Universe – WIF Wonderings and Wanderings

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Mind-Bending Theories

About the Universe

The universe is a vast and mysterious place. There are so many mind-boggling parts of our solar system, the universe and beyond that humans often have a hard time wrapping their brains around it. These mysteries are profound and often are connected with the inner workings of the universe and the very existence of life. Needless to say, a lot of these theories that try to answer some of these questions are mind bending in their own right and could change your whole outlook on reality.

10. We Don’t Know How Many Planets Are In the Solar System

planets-universe

In our solar system, we have eight known planets and five known dwarf planets. We have known about the eight planets and Pluto for the past few centuries, but we still don’t know what is beyond Pluto and still within our solar system, meaning there could quite possibly be more planets that we haven’t discovered yet.

The first evidence of another planet within our solar system first arose after the discovery of two possible dwarf planets – 2012 VP113 and 90377 Sedna. Researchers noticed that something massive was affecting the orbit of these two possible dwarf planets. Astrophysicists believe that beyond the known planets there is a planet 10 times larger than Earth that is affecting their orbit. Beyond that, they believe that there are one or possibly more planets that are more massive than Earth, meaning that it is highly possible that our solar system has at least 10 planets.

These planets would be at least 200 astronomical units away from the Earth. One astronomical unit is the distance of the Sun to the Earth, which is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers). Due to the great distance, we simply are unable to detect these other possible planets with current instruments.

9. Biological SETI

seti-universe

The biological SETI theory is an interesting pairing of two profound questions about human life. How did humans come into existence and are we alone in the universe? After all, life developing to this point is quite miraculous. Conditions had to be just right for present day humans to exist. Also, the idea that there are other beings living out in space has fascinated people for centuries.

However, what if we weren’t meant to look to the skies for proof of alien life? What if it was written into our own DNA? That is what Cladimir Shcherbak of al-Farabi Kazakh National University of Kazakhstan, and Maxim Makukov of the Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute hypothesizes. Their theory is that DNA is one of the most durable constructs in the universe. If intelligent life were sending a message, it would be more effective to code it in our DNA, rather than send something like radio transmissions. Essentially, they are arguing that if there are cells in the human genome that cannot be explained by Darwinian evolution, that it is possible those cells are a signature, or a designer tag. They also point out how amazingly logical the human genome is. They believe that something as straightforward and logical, probably came from an advance being, somewhere outside of the solar system. If their theory is correct, then it could possibly answer both questions poised in the opening of this entry; there could be other life in the universe, and they could be the reason we exist.

8. White Holes

whiteholes-universe

Most people have heard of black holes, but what about white holes? In the field of physics, white holes are a bit mythical; one has never been found, but it is possible for them to exist. The theory is that they are very much like a black hole, except for one main difference; you can’t leave a black hole once you enter and you can only leave a white hole, you can’t enter them. This means that black holes are entrances only, while white holes are exits only. Due to this binary, some physicists believe that black holes and white holes are actually the ends of wormholes. Meaning that someone, or something, could enter in the black hole and end up in some other part of space or in a completely different time once they come out the white hole.

However, this is all speculative because, as mentioned before, a white hole has never been found. In fact, some physicists believe that it is unlikely that they exist. They believe that if you sent something into a black hole, it would just get stuck there and eventually the black hole will get jammed up. Nevertheless, according to Einstein’s theory of relativity, white holes are possible.

7. Quantum Entanglement

Quantum Entanglement is a strange, physical phenomenon where tiny particles, like electrons, that were formerly entangled, interact with each other even after they are separated. This is seen when physicists measure a particle, because when it is measured it changes the property of the particle. The interesting thing is that if you change one particle, it also changes the one it was formerly entangled with. This is true, even if the two particles are a galaxy apart. It was such a problem for Einstein, that he called it “spooky actions at a distance,” because it happened instantly, which is faster than the speed of light and went against his theory of relativity.

The leading theory is that, somehow, the two particles do manage to communicate with each other. The question then arises; can we communicate at faster than light speed using quantum entanglement? Unfortunately, that will not happen because quantum entanglements are random and we will not be able to send a message.

Understandably, this is a complicated subject, which even troubled Albert Einstein. If you wish to learn more about this topic, please watch the video posted above.

6. Baby Universes are Born in Black Holes

babyuniverse-universe

One of the most mysterious aspects of the known universe are black holes. There are a number of theories about what they are and what they do, but no one is exactly sure. One theory is that black holes are actually mothers that give birth to “baby universes.” What’s interesting is if the theory is true, then our universe is inside a black hole, which is in a black hole, which is in a black hole and so on.

While it is still a theory, it does help explain one mystery about the universe. Knowing the universe’s rate of expansion, the universe is actually bigger than it should be. Physicists believe that in the fraction of a second after the Big Bang, it picked up power before tapering off. This fraction of a second is a period known as “inflation.” No one is sure what caused the inflation, but it’s quite possible that particles within a black hole could have caused the inflation. Without going into too much details about black holes, basically there are spinning half particles in them. When these half particles interact with each other, it creates a repulsive force called torsion. The torsion would explain the inflation because it would have given the Big Bang a little bit of extra thrust.

Black holes being mothers also helps explain why time works the way it does. In its simplest terms, our universe inherited the arrow of time from the mother black hole.

5. Space-Time is a Slippery Fluid

Spacetime is the concept where time and space are connected. For example, for humans on Earth experience space in three dimensions and the fourth dimension is time. The combination of these four dimensions would be considered spacetime.

Have you ever thought what spacetime feels like? It’s kind of a silly question because space and time don’t have a feel, right? Well, according to physicists, they believe that spacetime is actually a slippery substance referred to as superfluid. A superfluid is a type of fluid that has almost no friction or viscosity. One substance that is a superfluid is liquid helium when it is cooled to two degrees just above the coldest possible temperature, absolute zero. Essentially, a superfluid has so little friction that it makes water seem like molasses.

If spacetime were actually fluid, it would help align two branches of physic’s, quantum physics and Albert Einstein’s general theory. Neither of them can properly describe what happens to particles when spacetime undergoes a drastic change, like at the birth of a black hole.

4. The Ekypyrotic Scenario

Ekypyrotic-universe

The prevailing theory of how the universe came into existence was the Big Bang. In that first second after the Big Bang, most of the universe was created and it is still expanding. A mind-blowing question is, what sparked the Big Bang? According to the Ekypyrotic universe theory by Paul Steinhardt, a physics professor atPrinceton it was caused by the collision of two three-dimensional worlds (branes) in a space with a fourth dimension. According to the theory, two flat three-dimensional worlds (like strings) collided with each other and stuck together. This collision caused a kinetic energy to create a flat big bang universe, which is the universe in which we live. However, this goes against the mainstream belief that the Big Bang erupted out of singularity. If the theory of an Ekypyrotic universe is correct, it raises interesting questions about what is the outside of universe.

3. The Universe is Lopsided

lopsided-universe

In a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, there was a large burst, which gave the Big Bang a bit more thrust. This thrust is called inflation. It was believed that this inflation made the afterglow of the Big Bang, called the cosmic microwave background, pretty similar throughout the universe. However, data from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite show that this may not be true. In fact, according to the data, one side of the known universe is warmer than the other. The result is that the universe is lopsided.

Two theories as to why the universe is asymmetrical are that there is an energy field that is warping our universe. Another theory is that it is warped because it is bruised from bumping into another an universe or universes. Researchers said that if the universe is lopsided it probably will not really affect our understandingof the fundamental laws of physics, but again goes back to the question of what is outside our universe

2. Our Universe May Collide With Another One

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The multiverse theory is a fairly well known, and mind-boggling, theory. Essentially, there are other universes that are parallel to our own. One of the best analogies to explain it is like apartment floors; they are all connected, but separate. The problem is what happens if one of those universes doesn’t stay parallel and collides with our own? If that were to happen, we probably wouldn’t be able to tell because it would hit us at the speed of light. However, if we were able to slow it down, it would be like a giant mirror coming from the sky. That would be the last thing we see, because after the collision, we would all die.

The good news is that is a worse case scenario and there is only a small probability that another universe will collide with us. Some physicists also believe that it is possible a collision with another universe has already happened.

1. The Fermi Paradox

fermi-universe

The Fermi paradox in its simplest terms is “where is everybody?” Why have we not come across some trace of an advanced civilization? There are four basic pillars to the argument. The first is that our solar system isn’t that special, there are billions of other stars in the galaxy. If you compare the age of the sun to other stars, our sun is fairly young, by billions of years. Since our sun is just a normal star and if theEarth is just a normal planet, it is quite possible that there could be other Earth-like planets. Out of all those planets, even if a few developed interstellar travel at a pace similar to humans, then it would take a few tens of millions of years for just one of them to colonize the entire universe. Yet, despite the seemingly high probability that there should be some form of life at some point in the 13.8 billion year history of the universe, we have never found a single definitive artifact or evidence that there is anyone else in this universe except for us.

This leads to a few brain-bending theories, such as the zoo hypothesis, which is the notion that alien life is purposely staying away and could be observing us without our knowledge. Or that life is simply a computer simulation and the program is simply written where we’re the only ones in the universe.

The Theoretical Universe

– WIF Wonderings & Wanderings