Feeds

Watch out for the GIGANTIC ALIEN JELLYFISH, warns space boffin

Floating horror blobominations roam ice-moon skies

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A British satellite expert reckons aliens will be enormous bewildering monsters ideal for depicting on telly science shows, the very sort of programme the government adviser is happy to front.

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock said extraterrestrials could be football-field-size jellyfish with orange stomaches that float in the skies of Titan while supported by small onion-shaped gas balls under their flaps. And they would communicate with small pulses of light, the Independent quoted her as saying.

The scientist made her remarks in an interview on the Eden Channel, which is repeating her BBC documentary Do We Really Need the Moon? on Friday for its Science Month series.

"My vision of aliens is an inhuman, silicon-based life form that looks much more like a jellyfish than sci-fi’s little green men,” she added.

Going into further detail, she said the orange underbelly could act as camouflage allowing them to evade would-be predators - although presumably only in predominantly orange environments. The aliens would be kept afloat by buoyancy bags that dangle from their body, taking in or letting out gas in order to gain or lose altitude, another handy feature.

Her idea was inspired by the prevalence of silicon in the universe, and recent probings into life at the bottom of the ocean by James Cameron among others. In an an article accompanying the programme, she writes:

Our imaginations are naturally constrained by what we see around us, and the conventional wisdom has been that life needs water and is carbon-based, but some researchers are doing exciting work, playing with ideas such as silicon-based life forms. Silicon is just below carbon in the periodic table, has some chemical similarities and is widely available in the universe. So perhaps we could imagine similar instructions to DNA but with silicon. Maybe life doesn’t have to resemble anything like DNA at all.

Aderin-Pocock suggested that it is unlikely we'll get to see these highly coloured rubbery marvels in our lifetime, and admits that life in the universe is likely to be scattered and far distant. She estimates there will be as few as four alien civilisations sharing the universe at a time simultaneous to the human race.

As well as working for European space biz Astrium, she also advises the UK Ministry of Defence, although on satellite technology rather than aliens. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
ASTEROID'S SHOCK DINO-KILLING SPREE just bad luck - boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.