This is bizarre to think that life only exists on earth in this massive universe. The observable universe is a sphere about 92 billion light-years in diameter containing more than a 100 billion galaxies each containing between 100 to 1000 billion stars. And there are more than 10 septillion planets revolving around these stars. It is most likely that a lot of them are habitable. Probably some are them are just like earth to host intelligent life like humans. So you’ve already questioned yourself “Where are all the aliens?” The same question asked by physicist Enrico Fermi. Hence the name “Fermi Paradox”.
Since the observable universe is massive and our conventional space travel is slow, it will take millions of years to get out of the Milky Way Galaxy . Even if we travel at the speed of light, it would take 25,000 light years to reach the nearest galaxy Canis Major Dwarf. So let’s think about only our galaxy Milky Way.
The Milky Way Galaxy spans around 150,000 light-years containing between 100-400 billions stars. Around 20 billions(10%) are like our star Sun. It is estimated that 1 out of 5 “Sun-like” star has “Earth-like” planet in it’s Circumstellar habitable zone which is the range of orbits around a star where liquid can exist at the atmospheric pressure and the temperature of the planetary surface. So that life can sprout and exist.
We are not sure how often life forms or how long it takes to become intelligent. But within 7 million years apes evolved into humans and within 250,000 years from then we are taking space flights. There are planets that formed millions and billions years before the earth. If intelligent life developed in just a fraction of these “earth-like” planets(say .001%), there would be as many as 10000 planets with intelligent creatures in Milky Way Galaxy. If one of the civilization created space travelling technologies and started roaming the space, we would have noticed by now.
Despite all these brain hurting numbers of possibilities, we have ZERO evidence of any extraterrestrial life. Astronomer Frank Drake set up millimeter-wave telescopes in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) but never got a response. So “where are the aliens?”
This is the “Fermi Paradox”. Nobody actually has a solution to this paradox. But there are tons of ideas and possibilities out there about it. We are going to discuss some of the bizarre possibilities.
1. We are too early or too late for others
Maybe intelligent life exists on our galaxy but we are the very first civilization with this much technology. It might take a while for others to develop technologies to reach us or get our signals.
Or we are too late for for others. It’s possible that aliens have already visited earth and found nothing but primitive humans and some sea creatures or nothing at all. So they left and never came back. It was so boring that they never bothered to look at the earth again.
Maybe they visited our earlier civilizations like The Maya Civilization(2600 BC–900 AD) and The Ancient Egyptian Civilization(3150 BC–30 BC). That’s why those civilizations were so advanced at that time. Many suggests that they built their megastructures with the help of aliens. It is a possibility that aliens were still visiting earth until these civilizations have gone extinct or destroyed by aliens because of conflict.
2. We are not communicating properly
The only way we are using to communicate with aliens is electromagnetic waves. It might be our sophisticated way but to extra-terrestrial intelligence, it might be primitive or unknown. Other way around, the space is full of signals. We just don’t have to technology to receive these signals.
Maybe we are not looking at the right place. We are sending signals into a fraction of the Milky Way Galaxy where intelligent life doesn’t exist. We need to broaden our range. There’s a high probability that aliens are shy of us or we are superior to them. They just don’t want to communicate us because they are not ready and lack resources. The might fear that they will be destroyed if they respond to our signals.
Maybe they are the superior ones and the earth has no good use for them. So they just don’t bother looking into earth or sending response to our signals. They also have the ability to move around without getting noticed. They are just silently observing us evolve. At some point they might come to us for our resources.
3. The contact have been made and we are unaware
There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there about aliens. Many suggests that alien visits earth regularly and there are stories and video footages about UFO sightings and Area 51. Maybe our govt. is already in communication with the aliens and keeping it a secret for unknown reason.
Even there was an organization founded in 1952 dedicated to UFO research. That organization was founded by Albert K. Bender in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and it was called the International Flying Saucer Bureau or, more simply, the IFSB. It was later shutdown for unknown reason.
4. Aliens exist in different dimensions
Aliens might have explored different dimensions than ours and started living on them. They might be right here in earth walking around and transferring ideas to humans in some way about creating a black-hole bomb. You just can’t see them or feel their existence. Whereas they can see us and sense our thoughts too
5. Aliens existed but gone extinct!
It is a nature of Intelligent species to destroy themselves. Just take humans for examples. It’s merely 100 years that we discovered advanced technology. We have built enough nukes to destroy all life in the universe. Any war could trigger the nukes and all of us will be dead. Same thing might have happened for aliens out there once they reached certain technologies.
It is possible that they have gone extinct by nature events like impact from asteroid, weather and climate changes, volcanic eruptions or even by some virus.
6. We are living in a simulation created by aliens
This is hard to believe but this argument is logical. We humans are creating super computers and artificial intelligence. Very soon we will be able to create simulated universe with creatures like humans. We can set up some laws within this simulation and the subjects will not be able to go beyond these laws and not be able to contact us. Our current understanding of physics and mathematics are law-bound. No matter what we do we can’t go beyond these laws. And we will never be able to find out the creator of this simulation if the creator doesn’t want to. Only this hypothesis explains why we can’t find aliens.
It might seem impossible to create that much things inside a simulation. But you don’t actually need to create a lot of things. Just like in a video game, when you go to a place, the system instantly creates the surrounding graphics like they were always there. And you don’t have to put a lot of efforts to do that. You just need to make some patterns and rules to follow and the system will create same things over and over again but differently.
Everything we see, we touch or we eat follow some patterns. Even our lives are similar in many way. They are all same things with different combination of pattens. So it might be true we are not living in reality. We are just a simulation with certain senses and capabilities making us believe we are real created by some much advanced aliens for experiment purpose.
7. Life is unique and we are alone
Since there are no evidence of life in outer space, this is the most convincing theory and this is what we believe for now. Maybe life is a unique form of energy that only emerged on the earth. There is no solution to the Fermi Paradox. We might be conscious but that has nothing to do with the universe. We are just living in a tiny rock we named earth inside the vast universe. There’s nothing to be scared of. We have been living this way for a very long time!
We have come so far really fast. We humans have created a lot of advanced technologies in just past 100 years that we couldn’t have done in last 250,000. At this pace we will be able to create much more advanced technologies in next 100 years. Maybe we will reach Type 1 civilization of Kardashev Scales where we will be able to harness all the energy from our planet and make this world a much better place to live.
If we continue at this pace, we will able to roam the whole galaxy at super fast space flights and discover extraterrestrial life and solve the Fermi Paradox. We might even colonize some planets or at least leave trace of humanity. Within million years we can reach Type 2 or even farther Type 3 civilization only if we can master our self-destructive tendencies and avoid wars. Otherwise we will be our destruction!