People Think These Would Be The Scariest Messages To Receive From An Alien Civilization


Since humans first looked In the endless void of space and witnessed the movement of distant moons and planets, there is a question that has been at the bottom of our collective psyche: are we alone in the universe?

And if there really are other intelligent beings out there… can we send them pictures of dicks?

These days, sending messages from humanity to the Blorgons or Omicron Persei 8 is a bit more sophisticated. Over the years we have radiated declarations of peace (and communism), launched math-based greeting cards and the finale of Beethoven’s 9th played on a theremin. Some people even think we should spread some perfume Up there.

However, as welcoming and normal as these choices are, have we really stopped to think about how we would feel if we got an answer?

Reddit users — especially those who inhabit the r/space subreddit — have. And like so many others on Reddit, their speculations are a bit…well…dystopian. That’s because this week, user u/Paleo_dude2010 posed a certain question to their virtual fraternity:

What would be the scariest message to receive from aliens?

While, as you can imagine, there were quite a few responses like “prepare for your imminent destruction, puny humans”.

Some people found answers more haunting.

“Actually, any sort of distress message or epitaph/tombstone message left behind would be the most terrifying thing to hear,” reads the top-voted response, from user u/Outside-Papaya. “While we could [always] that a planetary catastrophe will wipe us out, to find hard evidence that this is happening [would] make the threat all the more real.

“It’s like people are getting murdered every day, but that changes when someone in your neighborhood dies,” they added.

Meanwhile, other users had a more abstract view.

“Something like ‘release the octopuses before we arrive’ [which] would have a call to action while suggesting that their imminent arrival would be frightening,” wrote user u/js1ngs.

“Are we doing it? Are they octopuses? When do they arrive?

There were naturally quite a few literary references:

Some Redditors felt that any post would be good news.

“In reality, the fact that they sent a message and not a doomsday device would be a huge victory,” wrote u/FLINDINGUS.

“The way the math works, a civilization has a strong incentive to send doomsday devices to nearby planets just because some devices would be impossible to detect and stop. Since you can’t know which other planets near you are home to intelligent life and one of them could send out a doomsday device at any time, you need to send out a doomsday device and destroy their planet as soon as possible.” they explained.

“If the extraterrestrials sent messages […] so it’s probably not a bad thing for us. If advanced aliens were hostile, we would die instantly and without warning.

While others have a slightly different take on the whole “aliens communicating with us would be a good thing” position.

“Neil deGrasse Tyson pointed out that chimpanzees share about 99% of our DNA and we consider them quite stupid compared to humans,” noted user u/JimAsia.

“The best-trained chimpanzee is only capable of skills mastered by children of an average of 4 or 5 years old. Any extraterrestrial species that appeared on our planet would not need to be much smarter than humans for us regard as very stupid animals.

But there was one suggestion that would certainly worry us:

Never mind – goodbye, and thanks for all the fish!


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