If you’ve ever thought about the existence of advanced extraterrestrial life, you probably have wondered what these beings might actually look like. In this article, we will discuss a variety of alien characteristics that are depicted in science fiction, by those who claim to have had face-to-face encounters, and also from the latest speculations by reputable scientists.
Various Versions Of Extraterrestrial Life Depicted In Science Fiction
The Blob is an American science-fiction horror film that was released on September 12, 1958. The alien entity was a red jelly-like blob which became redder, and also grew in size each time it would consume something. The creature eventually grew larger than a building.
On May 25, 1979, the science-fiction horror film Alien was released. The alien creature is unlike many other extraterrestrials that have been portrayed in science fiction films. The alien from the 1979 film was a predatory monster-like being with great physical strength.
It had an elongated skull, no visible eyes and a segmented tail with a small sharp tip like a scorpion. As the Alien film series evolved, the design of the extraterrestrial was modified.
Mars Attacks! is an American comic science fiction film released on December 13, 1996. The aliens in this film were beings who came from planet Mars and invaded Earth. They were composed of green slime and had large eyes with an oversized head that was unproportional to their bodies. The head size of the aliens were evidently composed of brain tissue.
Characteristics Described In Alleged Alien Encounters
For decades, there have been many claims from those who say they have been face-to-face with beings who come from another planet. Of course, most will quickly dismiss their reports and even consider the claimer to be crazy. Whether they are kooks with made-up stories for the purpose of gaining fame, or people who truly believe that what they saw were actual extraterrestrials, they all describe the features of the beings they say they’ve encountered.
Below are three alien descriptions from alleged alien encounters.
The Kelly–Hopkinsville encounter
In 1955, there was well-known Kelly–Hopkinsville encounter (also known as Hopkinsville Goblins Case, Kelly Green Men Case). A Kentucky family with five adults and seven children claim to have had a close encounter with aliens who attacked their farmhouse. They described the creatures as short (around 2 feet to 4 feet tall) and dark goblin-like figures. The aliens had skinny legs, large pointed ears, clawlike hands and glowing yellow eyes.
The Barney and Betty Hill Story
Barney and Betty Hill of New Hampshire were a couple who claimed to have been abducted by extraterrestrials in 1961 (from September 19–20). While they were under hypnosis, the couple described the aliens as “little grey men” with oversized heads and large eyes.
Voronezh’s Trigger-Happy Invader
It was Voronezh City Park in Russia, on September 27th, 1989. Two young boys were playing soccer when they claim to have suddenly seen a red disc that had landed near them.
An alien came out of the disc carrying a ray gun-like device, which was pointed at one boy which according to sources, was named Dmitri. It made him disappear. The alien left, and the boy reappeared. They described the alien as a three-eyed creature who stood nine feet tall.
Scientists Give Their Own Perspective On What Aliens Might Look Like
Similar Characteristics To Humans
According to evolutionary biologist Simon Conway Morris, extraterrestrial beings would likely share similar characteristics to humans. Morris bases his theory on the phenomenon known as convergent evolution, which is the idea that different species will independently develop similar characteristics because they live in a similar environment.
Nothing Like Humans
Anil Seth is a public science communicator and neuroscientist at the University of Sussex. Seth says that since human evolution depended on many unique and unpredictable factors, it is nearly impossible that an alien species would have human-like features.
Seth says it is more likely that aliens would look as different as the octopus. Just like humans, the octopus has a high level of intelligence and a decentralized nervous system. However, they look nothing like humans, nor do they share similar characteristics such as two arms, or two hands for making tools.
Gravity Likely Plays A Major Role In Determining The Size And Shape Of Alien Life
The following information is based on an episode on the Science Channel’s Through the Wormhole series, as well as an article on Popular Mechanics (the magazine of popular science and technology) titled “What Would Aliens Actually Look Like? We Asked 7 Experts.”
Life under 1 G
All life you that find on planet Earth has evolved under 1g (gravity). However, the following are speculations on what would life look like under gravity that is weaker or stronger than Earth’s.
Life under gravity weaker than Earth’s
Macroorganisms that live under gravity half of Earth’s would likely be vertical and thin. To function properly, it would make sense that advance life would have two arms and two legs.
Life under gravity 5 times stronger than Earth’s
Macroorganisms living under gravity 5 times stronger than Earth’s would likely be horizontal and thicker in order to hold up their weight.
Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Opinion On The Most Likely Alien Character Depicted In Sci-Fi Films
According to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the idea of the creature from The Blob film is not so far-fetched. During a panel discussion that took place at Howard University on “The Poetry of Science,” Tyson said that alien depictions in pop culture are typically anthropomorphized. He mentions how it is selfish to think that aliens would resemble humans.
Tyson believes that the most plausible type of alien character ever to be depicted in science fiction films was the creature in the sci-fi classic The Blob (as previously mentioned). Based on the theory that gravity plays a significant role in determining what aliens look like, characteristics of a being on a 5 G planet would likely share characteristics of The Blob.
While there has yet to be a shred of evidence that any form of alien life actually exists (including simple life-forms), perhaps one day scientists will develop the technology that is capable of finding it. Of course, it is possible that there is no life outside of our Earth.
However, with billions of galaxies, stars and exoplanets in the observable universe alone, there is an excellent chance that something is out there. If any type of alien life is ever found, their proven existence would easily be recognized as the biggest discovery of all time.