The international film industry has created many images of extraterrestrials for the public. We’ve seen Leeloo in The Fifth Element and Spielberg’s alien humanoid, Neytiri in Avatar, or the humanoid lizard in the film Signs.
But what do aliens really look like? On this point, scientists have quite reasonable ideas.
The researchers believe that the outer diversity is actually quite severely limited by the laws of the universe. Astrobiologist, University of Edinburgh Professor Charles Cockell, author of The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution, cites three restrictions that all life forms, without exception, must follow.
“Physical laws are the same everywhere. For example, the force of gravity acts not only in the solar system, but also outside of it.
The conditions of existence of organic molecules are the same everywhere. On Earth and beyond, organic molecules break down at high temperatures and cease their activity at low temperatures.
In every corner of the universe, life will use the same ingredients. Carbon is the optimal chemical element for the origin of life, and water is the ideal fluid for its transport.
What does this mean in practice? We know that there are three aggregate states of matter: solid, liquid and gaseous. And if the habitat of the extraterrestrials is gaseous, then they must conform to the laws of aerodynamics.
In the same way that pterodactyls, sparrows, dragonflies and paper airplanes obey these rules. If our spirit brothers live in water, then they are subject to the laws of hydrodynamics and hydrostatics (Archimedes’ law in particular), so aliens must have an elongated and aerodynamic body shape.
Those who live on a hard surface need limbs (legs, legs, arms) to reduce friction. Or, use the method of moving snakes, which do well without limbs. Thus, structurally, extraterrestrials will most likely be similar to the inhabitants of Earth,
Will extraterrestrials have sense organs? It depends on the environment, says the president of the German Astrobiological Society, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, of the Technical University of Berlin.
Who needs ears if there is no medium to transmit sound waves? On our planet, light-sensitive organs have been developed by almost all living beings: vision takes various forms, from the complex eye of a fly to the stereoscopic vision of a person. But aliens may not need eyes if they live in places where light cannot penetrate.
In the event of contact with extraterrestrial intelligence, we will be dealing with predators – most scientists agree on this point. And it’s not just because there are no examples of thinking plants and fungi on Earth.
It simply does not make sense for a stationary organism to develop the rhythm of reactions and expend energy to maintain a high level of metabolism. Yet the mind is an expensive pleasure. For example, the human brain weighs 2% of the mass of the body and consumes 25% of the energy.
Not everyone can afford such a luxury. The brain is profitable only if the living organism has to seek food or save itself from the fate of becoming food.
So why can’t aliens be descendants of herbivores? The fact is that plant foods provide less energy than other animal foods. It would be difficult for intelligent herbivores to develop their intelligence, as they would spend a lot of time eating low-calorie plant foods. From this point of view, carnivorous creatures have much more free time to eat.
And among predators there is a clear hierarchy: if the lion should be smarter than the antelope, then the wolf should be smarter than the lion, because it hunts in packs, and the wolf should learn to cooperate with the members of the team.