Over the last half century, we’ve launched around 100 telescopes into space.
More than 20 of them are diligently scanning the universe right now.
At the same time, a few dozen radio observatories keep listening for any signals from space and as a result, we’ve received mind-blowing pictures of distant stars and galaxies and mesmerizing ambient sounds coming from exotic objects.
But there’s one main thing: we can’t hear or see traces of other intelligent civilizations that actively explore outer space.
This may have two possible explanations, where either absolutely alone in the infinite Universe with no one else within billions of light years around, or humanity is just about to run into highly developed aliens and it’s hard to predict what consequences this encounter may have.
Are you anxious?
THE GREAT SILENCE MYSTERY
Already today, we’ll try to find out which of the answers to the great silence mystery is closest to the truth.
What if we really live a hopelessly lonely Interstellar life?
Scientists of the past couldn’t stand this idea.
They were adamant that other planets of our solar system were densely populated, Nomads roaming around the deserts of mercury, tropical jungles on Venus and even entire civilization that built Martian canals.
All of these are real scientific hypotheses of the past ages, and only in the 20th century, when we sent probes to the nearest planets, we realized an obvious thing: these worlds are absolutely lifeless.
However, the most recent analyzes suggests that even our galaxy alone may Harbor from 300 million to 40 billion Earth-like planets.
Numbers with so many digits make the concept of our Stellar Solitude look extremely far-fetched, but not impossible.
After all, how many of those planets are likely to have everything that makes Earth habitable: a long, lasting star that doesn’t explode into violent flares, enough organic matter to build complex molecules and, of course, some liquid water on the surface to complete this Primal life soup?
And don’t forget a massive moon on duty to stabilize the planet’s chaotic rotation and climate?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other known and unknown ingredients needed to eventually get one tiny Living World in this immense Universe.
I mean our Earth.
Most scientists refuse to believe in its uniqueness, but since they still can’t prove an exact recipe for the birth of life, it may well require billions of components.
Far away in space.
There might exist billions of billions of Earth-like worlds outside our galaxy.
What are the chances that each and every one of them is dead in?
It may be some other thing that makes our home planet unique.
This is what plagued Enrico Fermi, a physicist, when, in 1950, he sat down to lunch with his colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory and shocked them with a simple question: but where is everybody?
By this he meant Not only living beings, but also Advanced extraterrestrial civilizations that had to somehow indicate their existence during 5 billion years.
Yes, that’s what astronomers of the mid-20th century concluded when estimating the age of the universe.
Now we know that it’s two and a half times as old, although it looks just as pristine, and this makes the so-called Fermi Paradox even more scandalous.
The physicists himself believed that humans as an intelligent species are truly one of a kind, but he couldn’t explain why, but perhaps somebody else could.
In the late 90s, economics professor Robin Hansen came up with a hard steps theory of evolution.
According to this Theory, the emergence of primitive cellular life is only the first, and definitely not the most difficult step.
After this, life forms need to evolve into multicellular organisms.
When this task is done, they’ve got to develop a brain complex enough to have a mind, which will later create a technological civilization and ultimately start reaching for the Stars.
It took Earth around 4 billion years to go through these five complex stages, and Robin Hansen strongly suspects this is an absolute space record.
Maybe life forms on some Earth-like worlds haven’t yet managed to move further than bacteria status.
In some others, animals may have failed to develop a well-functioning brain.
Well, aboriginals from neighboring planets may have spent millions of years happily swinging their Stone Spears and not craving anything extra.
So, according to Hansen’s Theory, humankind could possibly be an Intergalactic newborn, surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of nearly virgin worlds.
And while many people keep rejecting even this degree of human exclusiveness, it perfectly explains both the great silence and the Fermi Paradox.
If only our universe is not lifeless and so poorly studied for other pretty unexpected reasons.
What if the clue to the great silence lies not only in the existence of life, but in the very nature of space?
Hansen’s theory states that a civilization must overcome not only great challenges like hearts steps as it evolves, but the almighty great filter too.
For example, if a giant asteroid hits a planet and destroys everything alive, this leaves no chance for an intelligent mind to appear, and the worst thing about the great filter is that we don’t know exactly what we’re going to face or when.
However, it wouldn’t necessarily mean the extinction of life.
To solve the mystery of the great silence, all we need is the great filter and its reluctance to let other civilizations into space.
Here on Earth, we needed remarkable technological breakthroughs and colossal resources to build Rockets able to reach orbit and then make it to the moon.
And remember that Earth is relatively small and its gravity is low compared to the rocky exoplanets we’ve discovered.
Most of them are the so-called super Earth, and even the most powerful and perfect machines wouldn’t be able to overcome their pull.
Maybe a very Advanced civilization from one of such planets could even repeat the trick of Jeff Bezos and almost traveled to outer space, but it certainly wouldn’t manage to erect a space station in orbit needed for further research and flight missions.
These aliens would have to deal with their own planet’s crushing gravity, which would become the Great Space filter on its own, although it wouldn’t be their only curse.
Intelligent aliens May inhabit not the rocky super Earth, but an ocean planet like this, located just 100 light years away from us.
It’s so suitable for Life as We Know It that we’ve already told the James Webb Space Telescope to carefully examine it as soon as possible.
But if you ask me what the telescope is not going to find there, for sure I’ll tell you what space launches.
That’s because local deep living species like intelligent occupy first of all would have to get out of the ocean and build a high-tech submarine for this.
It sounds complicated enough, but going into orbit requires things like a couple of Rocket engines, which would be a hopelessly big problem for aliens.
Not to mention that most of the known space oceans are separated from space by a thick ice crust.
It literally be like the grape filter, and even the pure assumptions about other fire Way galaxies would hardly seep through it.
Perhaps aliens wouldn’t even try to break the ice.
It would forever believe that their ocean is where the universe begins and ends.
But even if Earth dwellers are given exceptional conditions, it doesn’t mean we’re bound to expand all over space.
Nasa published some alarming data received after medical examinations of 14 astronauts.
They were crew members working as part of the space shuttle program, and all of their samples showed dangerous mutations in blood-forming stem cells.
Even though these people spent in space a few days at most, Cosmic radiation didn’t need much time to seriously damage their health.
As for the astronauts who live on the International Space Station for months, they’re at a high risk of receiving huge doses of radiation equivalent to 6 000 medical X-rays, and that’s why we’re still close to the Earth.
Nasa pours big amounts of money into developing effective radiation shielding to protect their future spacecraft- so far without much success.
Spending a long time in outer space can lead to cancer and early death.
If we hope to colonize other planets, we’ll have to reap produce up there, let alone just live.
Unfortunately, a human fetus will be an easy target for cosmic rays, even on Mars.
With that in mind, we got the most depressing solution to the great silence in the Fermi Paradox.
No civilization is physically able to survive anywhere outside its native environment.
That’s why any space settlement is doomed to fail.
But even if we do find a way to cope with the great filter and colonize at least our solar system, what would we do with enormous Interstellar distances?
The fastest spaceship at our disposal will need 18 000 years to cover 4.3 light years that lie between us in Alpha Centauri, the closest star system.
This means that leaving any noticeable human Trace in the Galaxy will take up to hundreds of millions of years.
If we had spacecraft able to accelerate to at least half the speed of light, we could get things done much sooner.
But then again, the great silence suggests that no one has ever managed to build such ships and overcome the abyss separating stars and galaxies.
So now, what does it mean?
We’ll never see or meet other creatures inhabiting space.
There’s only one way to shake off the feeling of Despair and loneliness: to crack the mysteries of the great silence and the Fermi Paradox with a new approach.
But I doubt you’ll like it.
What if aliens are actually everywhere, but they’re blind and totally uninterested in our existence?
The James Webb Space Telescope has already directed its super sensitive mirrors and infrared detectors at the most prospective exoplanets.
Those worlds lie in habitable zones around other stars, in other words, where water can exist in a liquid state is here on Earth.
James Webb scans these exoplanets atmospheres for biomarkers.
First of all, it tries to find water, ammonia and methane molecules that couldn’t have appeared as a result of natural processes.
What would be a real sensation is the presence of chlorophyll, like in terrestrial plants, and amino acids, like in our DNA, and if there’s a high level of carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, it’ll be a real jackpot for The Seekers of extraterrestrial life.
These compounds are considered technical signatures, evidence pointing to an industrial civilization the humankind was in in the 20th century.
I bet you can already see the problem, can’t you.
We’re looking for copies of ourselves, ignoring the possibilities that another form of life may be way too different from us.
What’s more, highly developed aliens might just be blind.
Do you remember the intelligent octopi from the ocean planet?
They didn’t find a way to go into space, but perhaps their scientists succeeded in breaking through the ice crust and launching a powerful telescope.
Since these creatures live in darkness, their Observatory most likely would also be able to see infrared light, just like the Gym’s web.
But if it detects Earth, it would discover an exotic and hazardous World.
Our planet is situated too close to its star to let water on the surface exist in a state that aliens find natural solid state.
Without the ice crust, oceans get heated up to the point of evaporating right into the atmosphere-
A true hell for Intergalactic strangers.
And of course, there’s no excess of dissolved Metals in terrestrial Waters.
By the standards of intelligent occupy, that’s a techno signature of an advanced industrial civilization.
But if these guys at least stand a chance of noticing our cities on dry land, silicon-based creatures from an extra hot exoplanet would never even think of searching for carbon-based humanoids roaming around cold, Rocky worlds like our Earth.
Long story short, these two civilizations would rather search for signs of Life on Jupiter’s moon, Europa with its oceans hidden behind thick ice? or unburning Mercury.
When they don’t find anything there, they just keep scratching their heads over the great silence mystery.
A gloomy butt.
Quite considerable Prospect if we consider how we ourselves move forward with space exploration.
But even if highly developed aliens are not very different from humans, our solar system and Earth could Escape their attention for purely practical reasons.
That’s what two American scientists, Jacob hacked Mizri and Thomas Foutchez, highlighted in their article released in November 2022.
In their work, the researchers picture an incredibly Progressive society that has been systematically exploring our galaxy for millions of years and choosing to avoid our solar system at all costs.
Because our sun is an orange g-type star whose lifetime doesn’t exceed some 10 billion years.
It seems like an incredibly long time to us, but not to aliens.
More compact k-type yellow dwarfs can Shine without fading and support a civilization for up to 70 billion years, while tiny m-type red dwarfs are incredibly long livers is.
Their estimated lifespan reaches up to 10 trillion years.
So a society with ambitions is Limitless.
As space itself wouldn’t even bother to send expeditions to sons that are going to die in a flash when there are much more promising options.
If that’s the case, this answer to the great silence mystery man, the Fermi Paradox, also explains why we can’t see aliens.
Stars they’re currently colonizing are too dim to ever be noticed, unless you know where to look.
It sounds plausible.
However, simulations show that in only a few million years a civilization like this would have visited even our closest neighbor, a red dwarf called Proxima Centauri.
There’s no way we could have missed such a big moment.
Based on this, most scientists have concluded that there can’t be any highly developed aliens in our galaxy at all.
Nevertheless, Jon smart of futurist doesn’t feel like excluding the chance and suggests some more intriguing way to unravel the Fermi Paradox and understand the great silence.
According to him, we should search for other civilizations, not on other exoplanets, but inside massive black holes.
Seems like someone has an overly creative imagination, but this approach is totally scientific.
Smart puts forward the transcension hypothesis.
In these similarly titled movie, Johnny Depp’s character decided to upload his own mind into a complex computer program.
From Smart’s point of view, a remarkably Advanced society that has mastered the technology of this kite is unlikely to invest enormous resources into Troublesome and dangerous space colonization and try to remold other planets so that they’d be comfortable to live on.
Instead, aliens would rather prefer to move to a peaceful virtual world and to satisfy their Digi visual desires for billions of years to come, they’d need an ultra powerful super computer of astronomical proportions when they finally refine and optimize its design then, according to Smart, we wouldn’t be able to tell this machine from a black hole.
Maybe back in 2019, astronomers captured an alien supercomputer in Messier 87, and right now, digitized aliens are using it to simulate our whole universe.
Lost in their utopic reality.
They couldn’t care less about us or our struggle to crack the great silence mystery.
I hope one of the previous Solutions was correct, as the remaining options might give you nightmares.
What if aliens are much closer than we can imagine, Even in our wildest dreams?
Only they remain invisible.
In 1966, astrophysicists Yosef sklovski and Carl Sagan shot the scientific World when they introduced a hypothesis claiming that extraterrestrials had already contacted Humanity.
But since it happened in that distant past, the only Clues we have are strange pictures and artifacts of the ancient world.
Now add to this all the numerous legends from completely different cultures dedicated to mysterious creatures that came from the stars and brought knowledge and Technology to people.
Sklovsky and Sagan developed a purely scientific paleo contact Theory, but soon it was taken up by pseudoscientists like Eric Von Daniken, who turned Ancient Aliens into some sort of a cult and therefore discredited the idea as such.
But who knows, maybe it wasn’t so bad.
After all, the paleocontact theory not only fixes the problem of our planet’s uniqueness, but also doesn’t contradict the assumption that a highly developed civilization has been exploring our galaxy for a long time.
I have only one present question: if they were around thousands of years ago, where could they disappear to?
Here’s one of the possible answers.
After making the initial contact, humankind ended up not in a Galactic Federation but in a space Zoo.
May be highly intellectual aliens are low-key watching dozens of more primitive civilizations, driven by scientific curiosity or sheer boredom, or maybe they just want to know what their potential rivals in space exploration look like.
The latter is especially probable if we consider another theory from the author of The Great filter, Robin Hansen, and his colleagues.
Calculated native space expansion is achievable at at least half the speed of light.
So-called greedy aliens will take over almost the entire observable universe in just a few billion years.
We’ll simply have nowhere to live and there’s no need to visualize any space suits to explain why we still don’t see them, Hansen has two different options up his sleeve.
The first one says that expansion started by greedy civilizations could have just begun and we haven’t yet realized this.
That’s because, given tremendous space distances, we see even the center of our own Galaxy, the way it was 26 000 years ago.
That was when hunter gatherers inhabited Earth.
So who said There couldn’t be an Intergalactic Empire rapidly growing nearby right now?
Hansen’s second explanation is even less encouraging for humans.
We don’t notice that the universe is being seized by greedy aliens because it’s happening at the speed of light.
We simply won’t detect them until it’s too light.
Consequently, Invaders can barge into our solar system in a million years, right tomorrow.
With equal probability, and if they are really so fast, there’s a high probability that what we’ll see on our Radars will not be large Colony spaceships able to populate Mars faster than you can say terraforming.
Most likely it’ll be a swarm of alien drones programmed to devour everything they meet on the way, especially rocky planets rich in metals.
Drones will need them to self-replicate and fly farther to the next star systems, and so on indefinitely.
No, that’s not a script of a Sci-fi horror movie in production.
That’s a real guide on how to successfully spread your influence throughout space, and it was developed by scientists Stuart Armstrong and Anders Sandberg back in 2013..
Thank you, guys.
Now we can certainly live in peace without anxiously trying to spot predatory drones up in the night sky, and while humans still have some chance to foil their attack, here’s the last potential key to the great silence mystery and the Fermi Paradox, the most frightening of all.
And if it’s true, we have no hope of survival.
But you know what we actually have it coming.
Over the last hundred years, we sent many radio signals into space.
000 STAR SYSTEMS
They’ve already reached 15 000 star systems, and our audience grows year by year.
In our messages, we not only willingly give directions on how to find our planet, but also describe what we look like and what our Dna is made of.
We even attach a map of Earth.
Stephen Hawking and several other scientists criticize such frankness and called these messages way too risky, because when some Advanced Society receives them sooner or later, its initial reaction may be quite different from the joy of meeting their Interstellar peers.
It may be Primal Fear.
What are we really up to?
What if our signals are some cruel Choice?
Any civilization, however friendly it is, may find it easier and safer to destroy strangers once they announce themselves.
Perhaps these aliens have their own James Webb that, apart from highly sensitive sensors designed to look for habitable exoplanets, is also equipped with super power, full hyper dimensional lasers designed to immediately burn out whole life on its way, and we’ve basically made the job easier for them by spilling all the Vital Information about our home.
In this case, the great silence is screaming at us.
The universe isn’t a Barren desert.
It’s a dark Forest full of wild beasts lurking behind the bushes, and humans have just loudly stepped on a dry stick.
At the end of the day, even the brightest minds are currently struggling to provide an accurate analysis and say which solutions to the Fermi Paradox deserve more credibility.
That’s why, for now, we can seriously consider all, even the most unbelievable, theories.
In his calculations, Robin Hansen rejects the scenario where greedy aliens travel faster than the speed of light.
He says that if it were possible, the whole universe would have been crammed with newcomers almost since the galaxies appeared.
But if aliens did manage to invent a faster than light engine, well, let me congratulate everyone on the end of our search.
We are them, the ones who colonized Earth eons ago, or maybe our planet is just one of those digital simulations created by super smart aliens in space surround us is so empty because it’s merely a backdrop, so which of the scenarios in your opinion is most likely to be true?