If one were to flip through the proverbial photo album of man there would be an uncomfortable space where our first interplanetary invasion should go, a squashed fly where our mastery of interstellar travel should sit. It would be wise to close the book at this point and avoid those uncomfortable questions as to why man has not yet held a true relationship with another intelligent race of beings.
Indeed, we admit that certain species may wish not to accompany humanity on the annual cruise around the Sun every one of our current flatmates attends.
Therefore we shall examine the varied non-Earthly living options of extraterrestrial life.
Before probing them and stuffing them in a tank full of green slime, as a good article should.
Thales is widely credited as the first person to consider extraterrestrial life as a viable lifestyle option. Having just invented something for beard-wearing Starbucks workers to do, he set about devising the “water as first principle,” that all extraterrestrial living options must begin by a body of water for maximum liveability. Indeed, Thales also proposed that the infinite living options of the universe were composed of the four same elements in different proportions; air, water, self-importantance and distance from minorities.
Unfortunately, realising that in a geocentric universe life would still be drawn back to the Earth to receive useless birthday gifts from in-laws, Thales concluded that true extraterrestrial life was nigh on improbable. The dejected academic thus did the only other thing an elderly man could do, cursing the youth by inventing the high school geometry question.
Hindu thinkers charted such an idea earlier, with cosmic pluralism a theory explaining the limitless desires of the universe,owever Western history has tended to get these mixed these up with the menu from the local take-away.
Similarly, while the Talmud also states there are over 18,000 separate living options, being the Talmud, this was probably in reference to the ability of Jewish grandmothers to track you down and make you feel guilty in any world.
edit Early modern
During the Middle Ages extraterrestrial life fell back out of favour in Europe, as belief in even a single world worth inhabiting was questioned by the plague afflicted inhabitants.
In a 16th century dialogue Giordano Bruno affirmed that the Earth was simply one of an infinite number of worlds that may be inhabited by life. For this belief he would be charged with heresy, vehicular heresy and heresy across state lines, though Giordano had good lawyers and was able to plea-bargain these charges down to garden variety sodomy. However he would still be executed, and in the manner most befitting a contributor to pluralism between diverse communities.
Giordano died while trying to make small talk over a barbecue.
So to did the writer of the first complete fiction concerning an extraterrestrial race, Cyrano de Bergerac, meet a violent death at the end of a falling beam, possibly pushed by a dissatisfied mooninite.
Concerned by the weight of baroque literature theorizing societies on other planets, Pope Pius VI issued a papal degree in 1793 that “...one sin filled world was quite enough for Jesus to save, and he probably doesn’t want to go through the whole cross thing again just because some microbes want a methane based atmosphere, thank you very much.”
With the further development of the telescope in the late 19th century to more closely document the gaseous compositions of the larger planets, scientific discussion took on the thought process of a typical home owner and concluded our particular address was exceptional.
The general public embraced the idea that our planet worth more than the average rock in the stellar neighbourhood, due in part to work such as Verne's 1893 War of the Worlds, in which the humans vanquish invading martians and erect a "home, sweet home" sign to commemorate their success.
Indeed, like the heads of a homeowner's association, physicists have endeavoured to establish an exhaustive list of strata regulations, or laws of nature, by which all tenants of the universe should abide.
- Keep the speed of light below 300,000m/s, especially after 10pm.
- Remember there are exactly 92 building materials permitted in this dimension.
- No singularities on the premises. They leave horrible messes on the couch.
Mars has always been the most traditional choice for theorized extraterrestrial life, as the planet resides within the same habitable zone as Earth, and far distant from those worlds known for storing questionable substances.
The cheerily red rock lies on one of the most perfectly elliptical orbits in the solar system, and within distance of Earth for the transit of ejected material and other ironed goods. That a planet could be so well tended, down to alluvial plains indicating some form of water feature, has lead to abundant claims that life once inhabited Mars.
Indeed, there is a growing consensus of astronomers who believe that a form of life at least took on renovating the planet as a holiday project, while a small minority hold out that life would never live on Mars, even if it were the last place on Earth.
Sadly, the vast canals described by Lowell in two consecutive books were never to be, and thus the two icecaps of the planet now foster the most interest. Indeed, in 2008 the Phoenix lander calculated that beneath these polar regions lies enough liquid water to both host any microbial species and shower their progeny in spoils on the weekends.
Furthermore, methane signatures similar to those observed around the primitive life of the Rio Tinto river, Spain, have been noted within the martian atmosphere from mid 2005 onwards. These provide the scientific basis for the fart joke that organisms may use embarrass their offspring, a process necessary in the reproduction of multicellular life.
Atmospherically Mars tends to be fairly unstable, often experiencing planet wide dust storms, particularly after being studied by another damn probe for where it keeps the liquid water. The storms clear up as often as they form, allowing the Martian surface to absorb vast quantities of solar radiation and bake some unfortunate robotic landers for the neighbourhood planetoids.
These global climatic events mean life on the surface of Mars is now improbable. Although they do make the staple of all conversation “How’s the weather been?” even more pointless, and bring the day closer when everyone who says that can be stuffed head first into a crater.
Life should teach you that a calm man is a dangerous man, more dangerous than the man swinging an alligator. That is, because a calm man is a man hiding something. Possibly a crocodile to swing. As you see, it is always the meditating old kung-fu master concealing the most kickass moves.
Indeed, Europa remains one of the smoothest objects in the solar system, right after contemporary jazz. This is due to a liquid ocean flowing, hidden, just underneath Europa's chilled surface, a subterranean sea that may deliver a foot to the face of contemporary microbiology. Said ocean may hold an oxygen concentration greater than Earth, positioning Europa as the most likely candidate to court a rugged, deep ecosystem.
The constant gravitational pull from parent planet Jupiter has formed numerous hydrothetmal vents beneath the ocean. The chemical disequilibrium created at such locations on Earth has been observed to support vast dinner parties of complex bacteria, as they oxidize nutrients and discuss recent enhancements of their organelles.
While the examples on Europa are known to vent sulfides, it is unclear whether they produce enough praise for scarf wearing film-makers to draw the presence of any genuine anaerobic culture or eukaryotic sophistication. Despite this, Europa offers not only a water frontage, a water backage but even a water-water-everywhere–nor-any-drop-to-drink-age like the primordial Earth that would soon support organisms able to appreciate German expressionism, not of the socks and sandals type.
If life is a box of chocolates, then extraterrestrial life is also a box of chocolates.
And, as in any true box of cocoa based goods, there will be that single, melt-in-your-mouth, double-fudge, triple-bypass candy, wrapped so tightly it seems to disapprove of your mind even passing over the idea of consuming it. That candy is Titan.
Indeed, the sixth moon of Saturn is the only moon to maintain a thick nitrogen based atmosphere. This has proved adequate for keeping door-to-door asteroids off a surface commended by scientists as the finest location for organic chemistry in the area.
Titan is viewed as comparable to a youthful Earth, although at a much more conservative temperature and with a vastly stiffer upper crust. The moon is the only other body in the solar system to host both amino acids and nucleotide bases, necessary compounds in organic life, on vast grounds modeled painstakingly about a the geography familiar to organisms on Earth.
The satellite features the only truly stable bodies of surface liquid outside of Earth, lending the moon to be a golden location for the genesis of life. Vast pools of hydrocarbons are tended to dutifully by teams of brown ethane clouds that remain mostly hidden from higher orbiting bodies. Flows of ammonia based lava also track across the surface in places. Unfortunately, current theories suggest these flows are entirely incapable of supporting life, therefore making them only suitable for family fishing trips.
Many have proposed that deep down below the surface of Titan flows a sea conducive to biotic life, though in 2007, the deepest the Cassini probe could drill was an admission by Titan to smoking something as a proto-planet.
All extraterrestial living options are set in over 13.7 billion verdant years of The Universe (fig.1), which itself is within walking distance of all matter currently in existence. Except for the complementary parking.
If you desire any further information on extraterrestrial life, please address it to us in writing, preferably on a correctly stamped cornfield. We don't actually know what it says but we do appreciate the effort.