Picture an alien. Is what you're imagining a green man with a bulbous head and large, slanty eyes? If not that, is it like "Predator" complete with frightening mouthparts and dreadlocks?
A space scientist and British government adviser is saying to forget both of these notions. In fact, what you may need to start picturing when you think of an alien may actually not seem that foreign to you, according to Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock.
The U.K.'s Independent reports Aderin-Pocock saying they would look like giant jellyfish -- we're talking football field-size jellyfish. Sharing her thoughts on alien morphology on a recent episode of the U.K.'s Eden Channel as part of science month, Aderin-Pocock said:
“Our imaginations are naturally constrained by what we see around us and the conventional wisdom has been that life needs water and is carbon-based.
“But some researchers are doing exciting work, playing with ideas such as silicon-based life forms evolving on other planets in environments very different to our own.
“My vision of aliens is an inhuman, silicon-based life form that looks much more like a jellyfish than sci-fi’s little green men.”
“Silicon is just below carbon in the periodic table, has some chemical similarities, and is widely available in the universe.
“So perhaps we could imagine similar instructions to DNA but with silicon.
“Maybe life doesn't have to resemble anything like DNA at all.”
Instead of being green, Aderin-Pocock speculates they would have orange underbellies.
Does she actually believe in aliens? According to the Independent, Aderin-Pocock said there could be as many as four intelligent civilizations, based on recent discoveries within the universe, including new, distant stars. Would we ever encounter them though? Given that their body composition -- based on her description -- would not be able to exist in our environment and the fact that it would take 76,000 years to get to the nearest star, probably not.
(H/T: Daily Mail)