They're here.

Are we alone in the Universe? With more than 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe and at least 500 billion planets in the Milky Way alone, don’t you think we should have found something by now?

Even if a tiny percentage of those billions of planets hosted intelligent life, there would have to be tens of thousands of extraterrestrial civilizations out there. Yet, we haven’t seen any.

Where is everybody? We keep wondering what’s taking them so long to come.

But what if I told you even the friendliest of all aliens could wipe out our entire civilization for good?

We tend to apply our theories to the rest of the Universe. We expect aliens to come for a visit, even though we ourselves haven’t traveled out of our own neighborhood yet. We just believe that they’ve had so much more time for technological progress to make space travel possible.

So here they are, with their shiny, alien spaceship roving above our heads. What would we do?

As far as we know, no government on this planet has any sort of ‘alien greeting party’ if aliens suddenly showed up on the horizon. Just try to keep cool.

Say, the aliens happened to be very polite and sent us a signal before invading our planet’s personal space. You wouldn’t know it right away.

Not until several observatories, maintained by different organizations, verified that signal. Yep, that’s it.

Aliens are here. Now you know. You got this shocking news from your TV.

NASA officially confirms… Alien ship detected in the Solar System… We are not alone in the Universe… Is the Earth doomed?..

Agencies and countries around the world would be working together. Quickly trying to assess the level of threat.

They’d summon experts in linguistics, psychology, combat and biology and have them attempt to make the first contact with aliens. Groups of experts would record all interactions to analyze simple alien gestures and auditory reactions.

Those would help to decide whether aliens came in peace or they intend to do some serious damage. Some people might believe that religious leaders should do all the talking. But something is telling me aliens didn’t learn our languages in school, so good luck to anyone trying to reach out to them.

While the world’s most intelligent people were busy trying to interpret the aliens’ intentions to best of their ability, you would be… Wait, aren’t you curious to know what the aliens look like?

Some evolution experts agree that things like proteins and DNA are the same no matter where in the Universe you’re from. If that’s true, alien evolution would be close to that of humans.

They’d have binocular vision with eyes located close to the brain. Just like us, they’d be based on land and have a minimum of two legs for mobility and three fingers so that they could handle tools.

Still, if some of our own life forms look like this, try to picture something coming from another planet. Meanwhile, on Earth, while governments were busy figuring out the action plan, the media would be keeping you informed. You’d be advised to stay indoors, and wait for further instructions.

It’d be hard to filter out what’s legitimate news and what isn’t. But try not to fall for fake end-of-the-world news on Facebook and keep calm… At least make an effort to give up the urge of packing up your belongings and head for the hills.

At the same time, the governments and scientific experts would be sharing information about alien interactions. From here, the events could unfold in a few ways.

First, we might not get any auditory or visual response. Nothing at all. This could mean anything from: the alien spacecraft doesn’t have any aliens on board; to the aliens are waiting for their alien backup to fry us up.

Another possibility is that aliens responded and tried to communicate with no weapons involved. I can’t speak for their possible intentions. For all we know, they might want to get rid of us and keep the Earth to themselves.

Thanks to the language barrier, our interactions might not be going well. Tensions would begin to rise. We’d be screwed.

Considering that these beings had the technology to travel to Earth, it’s likely they also had the capability to develop some very, very advanced weaponry. Civilians would most likely be hitting the panic button as hard as possible.

Meanwhile, governments would put their nuclear weapons on standby. That would be our our best and most destructive weapon against them.

Or so we think… It may turn out that the aliens have adverse reactions to things on Earth that we are accustomed to. If, say, their skin melted upon contact with water, then defending ourselves against them would be simple.

I’m not saying aliens would necessarily bring doom upon the Earth. They might not mean us any harm at all. But if some hazardous microorganisms from outer space hitched a ride with them and made it into our world, we humans might have no natural immunity to those extraterrestrial microbes. And they could slowly wipe our species off the planet.

On the other hand, if aliens did decide they were not here to make friends, we’d be destroyed long before we got a chance to offer them peace between intelligent beings.

In any case, we aren’t ready for a visit from interplanetary travelers. We better get prepared for ‘first contact.’ Or maybe, we should try to invade alien worlds before they invade us.

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