Whether or not we are alone in the universe is one of life’s greatest mysteries. On Earth we find ourselves in the “Goldilocks Zone,” which means that conditions are just right for hosting life, but we have discovered other Earth-like planets deep in space, as well as planets that are thought to have water (which could, of course, lead to life). When discussing the possibility of extraterrestrial life, often we are talking about any form of life and not necessarily an advanced race, but there are certainly reasons to believe that we are not alone out there.
10. The Number of UFO Sightings
Whilst most of the supposed UFO sightings are either fabricated or simply other objects such as military aircrafts or meteors, the incredible number of reported sightings around the world and throughout history is truly staggering. At Goliath we have previously looked at the 10 Most Legitimate Cases of UFO sightings, and these are just 10 that even the most credible and sane people are perplexed by. What is also particularly shocking about a lot of personal accounts is the consistency that goes along with them, suggesting that there is in fact some truth to at least some of these claims. Many people may believe in aliens but do not believe in these UFO sightings, which is fair enough, but if they are true then it of course not only means that we are not alone, but there is also a more advanced race than us out there.
9. Ancient Evidence
It is not just in recent times that people claim to have seen UFOs, as throughout history there is evidence to suggest that people have seen objects in the sky (pre-airplanes and satellites). This includes “The Madonna with Saint Giovannino,” which was painted in the 15th century by Domenico Ghirlandio and shows a disc-shaped object (consistent with today’s sightings) in the sky behind Mary’s shoulder. There is also a man and dog staring up at the object in disbelief. In addition to this, there are ancient cave paintings and old manuscripts that seem to suggest alien life and visits from UFOs, which look remarkably similar to the sightings reported so often today. This does not offer much scientific evidence, but it is intriguing and seems to suggest that that objects in the sky have been visiting Earth since the dawn of civilization.
8. Roswell and Area 51
In 1947, an object crashed at a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, which many believe to have been a spaceship. The Government dismissed it as a weather balloon, but there are hundreds of witness reports that claim that they saw pieces of the ship as well as alien corpses being removed. This could easily not be the case, but interestingly a retired CIA agent, Chase Brandon, stated in 2012 that it “did not come from this planet.” Area 51 is also an area of fascination for conspiracy theorists, with many believing that this is where remains of the Roswell craft and its occupants are contained. At first the existence of the base was denied, but would later it was admitted that it did exist but was nothing more than an air force. It has a huge restricted area and is heavily guarded which adds to its mystery.
7. Apollo 11 UFO Sighting
Apollo 11 is, of course, most famous for putting man on the moon for the very first time, but this mission also seems to strengthen the case for extraterrestrial life. Three days into the mission, the astronauts sent a message back to message control asking if they knew where the detached part of the rocket was. The reason for this was that they saw an object that appeared to be riding alongside the rocket, but the detached part was 6,000 miles away from their location. According to alleged leaked documents, Aldrin and Armstrong saw two enormous spacecrafts whilst on the moon and a two minute period of radio silence leads many to believe that NASA deliberately blocked this from the public. According to a retired NASA communications engineer and several other astronauts, many Apollo missions resulted in UFO sightings which have all been kept quiet.
On our own planet, we have microorganisms and creatures that are able to live in extreme conditions that we would perish in. Humans, and most of the other life forms on Earth, need very particular conditions to live in and would not be able to live on other planets. This leads us to believe that life cannot exist on the majority of other planets that have such different conditions to that on Earth, but these extremophiles prove that life cannot just exist, but thrive in areas with extreme conditions. Tardigrades can withstand temperatures of just above 0 to over 100 degrees, they can withstand pressure six times greater than the bottom of the ocean, go without food for 10 years and much more. If microorganisms and creatures can live in these conditions, it seems likely that forms of life exist on what we would consider inhospitable planets.
5. Water Throughout the Universe
We recognize that water is a crucial ingredient for life, and therefore we are constantly on the lookout for evidence of water anywhere in the universe. As it turns out, there appears to be an abundance of it throughout the universe and possibly even in our own solar system. The Curiosity Rover on Mars has provided overwhelming evidence that rivers and lakes once existed on our neighboring planet, whilst many moons also could currently have water on them. Most notable is one of Jupiter’s many moons, Europa, which appears to have a liquid ocean beneath its surface. Other moons that may also have water include Callisto, Ganymede (also of Jupiter) and Saturn moons Titan and Enceldus. Having potentially this much water in our solar system is very encouraging and strengthens the case for some kind of life somewhere out there in the universe, and perhaps closer than we thought.
4. The Wow! Signal
On August 15th, 1977, Jerry R. Ehman was working on a project at the Big Ear radio telescope at Ohio State University when he picked up a strong narrowband radio signal that many believe to prove the existence of aliens. The signal lasted the full 72 second window that the Big Ear was able to observe it, but it has never been detected again. It is thought to have come from almost 220 million light years away and the signal bore the expected hallmarks of non-terrestrial origin, but there are also many doubts that the signal was a sign of intelligent extraterrestrial origin. It still baffles scientists to this day how a signal that powerful could come from so far away in the universe without the aid of advanced technology, and this led Ehman to circle the signal and mark the computer printout with the comment “Wow!” on the side.
3. Increasing Number of Earth-like Planets
Thanks to advances in technology, we are now able to look deeper into space than ever before. In the last 10 years or so, hundreds of new exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) have been discovered and many of these are gas giants and other inhospitable planets. There are also dozens of Earth-like planets that have been discovered too, however, and evidence seems to suggest that these planets could host life and perhaps even life that is not dissimilar to ourselves. Many of these planets are located in the “Goldilocks Zone” around their respective stars, meaning that they orbit at a temperature similar to Earth. At the beginning of the year, astronomers identified eight new planets in this zone, with Kepler 438b being particularly Earth-like. This is located 475 light years away and is slightly larger than Earth, but many have stated it to be our “twin” planet.
2. The Age of the Universe
It is not just the size of the universe that you have to consider (more below), but also the age of it too. It is thought that the Big Bang occurred around 13.8 billion years ago, whilst Earth first formed roughly 4.5 billion years ago (with the earliest life arising 3.5 billion years ago). In terms of Earth, we have only been in existence for a small amount of time compared to the age of the universe, and this means that alien civilizations could have started, evolved and perished long before Earth even formed into a planet. Also, the same could happen long into the future. When this thought is combined with the sheer size of the universe, it seems much more likely that there has previously been, currently is, or will be some kind of alien life out there in the universe.
1. The Sheer Size of the Universe
Our minds cannot comprehend just how vast the universe is, and scientists state that it could host around 100 to 130 billion galaxies. You then have to consider the incredible number of stars within these galaxies, and then the number of stars which will have planetary systems. Although it takes very particular conditions to support life, the sheer size of the universe and the number of planets that could support life will still be a staggering number. The odds are, therefore, very heavily in favor of the existence of some kind of extraterrestrial life, and quite likely a lot of it too. What is frustrating and equally intriguing, however, is that these other Earth-like planets and other planets that could support life are so deep in space that we will never be able to contact or reach them to truly discover whether we are alone or not.