- Aug 8, 2014
An intelligent extraterrestrial may be unlike anything we can imagine
Cosmologist Fergus Simpson believes that intelligent extraterrestrials would be much larger than we are.
When we consider the possibilities of what an intelligent extraterrestrial life form might look like we tend to imagine something that looks a little similar to ourselves.
Given the enormous range of different planets and environments that must exist in the universe however there's a chance that if we did meet a member of an alien species they may be so different to us that they would be almost unrecognizable.
In a recently published paper, cosmologist Fergus Simpson took this idea one step further by theorizing that any intelligent extraterrestrials we happen to encounter are more likely to be significantly larger than we are and could weigh upwards of 300kg.
His calculations are based on the assumption that there is a minimum size that a life form needs to be in order to develop intelligence and that our species is on the lower end of that scale.
Simpson's theory however doesn't take in to account how the gravitational pull of any given planet might effect the size, weight and height of its inhabitants.
SETI director Seth Shostak commented on his findings by stating that they were "interesting" but expressed skepticism on the basis that "there’s really no concrete data to work with."
"Polar bears are large but do not write great literature and build radio towers and a lot of that is probably because they are walking around on all fours," he said.