Hypotheses for Why Aliens Might Be Hiding From Us

By on 11:20 PM

Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Watterson
Let’s pretend for a second that aliens wouldn’t be imperialistic, one of the most common anthropocentric characteristics forced onto extra-terrestrials. So, why would they want to stay away from earth? Maybe they’re horrified of our way of life, or maybe we’re just too far away to be worth the bother; maybe they’re watching us right now, or maybe, since they’re aliens and all, their methods of reasoning are a bit different from our own and we won’t be able to figure it out (my money’s on a bit of all of those with an extra emphasis on the last). However, people have managed to come up with a few fairly cool (and creepy) reasons why aliens might be hiding from us.

The Zoo Hypothesis

The galaxy is a zoo, and we’re the ones on display. Ostensibly an answer to the Fermi Paradox, the zoo hypothesis hypothesizes (naturally) that aliens are well aware of our earth-inhabiting selves, and are content just to watch us – for the moment. These aliens are hiding their existence for either of two reasons: one,  they want to observe us in a natural habitat with no outside influence because we’re interesting, or, two, experimental scientists are studying us.

I’m not quite sure which idea is worse. The zoo idea is a bit demeaning, but the idea of being involved in a galactic social experiment is creepier. But either option is better than invasion, destruction, or the occasionally voiced idea that aliens aren’t destroying us because it’s only a matter of time before we destroy ourselves.

This leads me to the good news about the zoo hypothesis. Aliens might be watching us, but proponents of this theory think it’s so they know when we’re more civilized and ready to take our place in the universe.

Deliberate Panspermia and the Garbage Theory

Neither of these theories imply that aliens are actively hiding from us, but instead cite that some alien race out there is treating us like bastard children, or worse, and just aren’t willing to stick around.

Panspermia is a unique theory in its own right. The earth has meteorites and all sorts of other space rocks hitting the ground, even a few from Mars. So, we know that interplanetary sharing is possible, if so far accidental.

There’s even a theory that magnetic fields can steal a few Earth spores and fling them to other solar systems before they’re destroyed. Are they alive or functioning at that point? Probably not. Did they reach a planet capable of sustaining life? Again, probably not.  But, maybe. After all, The Stardust Mission found some glycine in comet tails, so maybe some basic forms of life instead of just some basic components of life are winging their way here.

Now, if you mix this possibility with Francis Crick’s idea – he co-discovered DNA’s double-helix structure, so we have to give the guy at least a little credit towards logic, here – we get some deliberate panspermia. Extraterrestrials, wanting to make sure that life continued regardless of any interstellar catastrophes (another facet to answering the Fermi paradox) that might try to quash it, spread the love a little and peppered the earth with algae.

He later backtracked a bit, saying a more domestic sort of abiogenesis seemed more likely, but the idea that some alien race pulled the original ‘dead-beat dad’ is certainly one to keep in mind.

The Garbage Theory is even worse, and probably doesn’t need all that much explanation. First Francis Crick says aliens purposely turned the planet into an algae farm, then Douglas Adams says an alien race sent all the outcast idiots to Earth; now astronomy professor Thomas Gold thinks trash was accidentally dumped on the planet and we evolved from it.

We Scare the Hell Out of Them

I don’t really like this potential reason. Not because I don’t think humans as a whole don't have a few issues to work out (genocide, apathy, destruction of the environment, what have you…), but because I think any alien that can reach us can so far surpass us in terms of, well, everything, that they don’t have much to worry about. Even if they know our imperial history and our treatment of different cultures that stand in our way, either they’re imperial, too, and want our stuff or aren’t imperial and aren't thrilled. Or they don’t care. Whatever. In any case, we can’t really hurt them, and they don’t have to fear our direct actions.

But, indirect harms could be an issue. One idea is that the extraterrestrial society is isolationist, unwilling to pick up ideas from cultures possibly less civilized than their own. Even observing our rather violent disregard for each other could damage their culture, like watching violent National Geographic specials hurts our own morals.

Another idea is that of viruses and forward-contamination. While viruses are host-specific and theoretically won't do much expected damage, the interaction of the compounds with an extraterrestrial body might be unpleasant. Combine this with the possibility of spores, microbes, and biosphere-destroying bacteria, and maybe a hands-off policy is a pretty good one; while the inter-meshing of terrestrial and extra-terrestrial organic manner might not blow up in our faces, it also has a pretty good potential for making the creation of smallpox blankets seem like an innocuous pastime.

The Fermi Paradox… Paradox

There are relatively good odds on there being countless potentially-life-supporting planets in the universe, and fairly goods odds on the earth not being the only (currently) populated planet. But, like the Fermi Paradox says, we’ve received no feedback, notification, or hint that anyone else is out there, so people in general assume that (a) we’re alone, or (b) the distance is too great for our current technology. As a result, we don’t really try to communicate.

Now, what if all the other aliens in the galaxy thought the same thing?

The Planetarium Hypothesis

While this isn’t really a ‘why,’ it’s certainly an interesting ‘how.’ Apparently, the Matrix was thinking a bit too small when it proposed that machines were locking people into a simulated world – the reality is, according this hypothesis, that aliens have locked people into a simulated universe. Based on the Kardashev scale, some alien civilization became so advanced that it gained the ability to manipulate how physics is perceived, or at the very least is manipulating energy and matter on such a vast (relatively) and galactic scale that all evidence of extraterrestrial life is virtually invisible.

This kind of sucks, since humans aren’t expected to reach that level of advancement for the next hundred thousand to million years. 

Rachel is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and spends her time writing, studying, and reading what would probably considered far too many books. Connect with her and Rusty on Twitter and Facebook, and click here to read more of her articles about alien theories and how to survive alien invasion novels.

About Syed Faizan Ali

Faizan is a 17 year old young guy who is blessed with the art of Blogging,He love to Blog day in and day out,He is a Website Designer and a Certified Graphics Designer.


  1. translate from spanish next...
    Yo creo que los extranjeros nos ven como nosotros vemos a los animales salvajes en su jungla, es decir, si estuvieras en un safari por africa y sabes que los animales que son fuertes y belicos, te acercarias a hablarles y hacer relaciones con ellos?.
    Hablarias con ellos de cosas evolucionadas lejos de su alcance como wall street, Hollywood, arts, etc?, no verdad?, ellos no pueden entender eso porque no han estado alli, asi como nosotros no hemos estado en alguna galaxia cercana, ni siquiera en un planeta cercano, por tanto no tenemos mucho de que opinar al respecto verdad?.
    tu articulo es interesante, despierta nuevamente el interes por el tema. Feicitaciones y gracias. capacidadexito@yahoo.es

  2. Gracias por tu comentario! Creo que lo más probable es que las especies inteligente estarán interesadas ​​en la comunicación con los demás, especialmente si no han entrado en contacto con muchos otros extranjeros. Después de un tiempo, los seres inteligente (humanos, también) serán aburre y juzgar a los demás tan inteligente o no inteligente más fácilmente, pero que trabajarán duro con los extranjeros primeros a menos que una falta de inteligente era evidente.

    Después de todo, enseñamos a los primates lenguaje de señas y tratar de interpretar las llamadas de las ballenas. ¿Quién sabe?

    ENG: Thanks for your comment! I think it's likely that intelligent species will be interested in communication with others, especially if they have not come into contact with many other aliens. After a while, intelligent beings (humans, too) will be bored and judge others as intelligent or not intelligent more readily, but they would work hard with the first few aliens unless a lack of intelligent was obvious.

    After all, we teach primates sign language and try to interpret whale calls. Who knows?

  3. here is another idea if there exist aliens then they probably used computers, they would have been more advanced so they might have discovered hard AI technology.a) in the process they might got killed or made a b)hybrid version of whit the AI or c)killed the AI.

    if a) then they don't care about organic life only about knowledge.
    the they would become so smart and are imperialistic on the technological side not the rest. they are hybrids so they see us like primates. so they don't make contact because they wont gain technology's from us.
    they might contact us when we made an AI ourself to destroy the AI before it is to powerful.

    synthetic life can become very advanced very fast and might be undetectable in space because they don't need life support and they can life under very extreme conditions. so synthetic life looks rather real.

  4. rehab planet:what if earth was a rehab or prison planet of sorts.I mean it seems as if there are several species of alien races that are interested in the planet,probably they are just observing what is happening with their undesirables.If you throw reincarnation into the mix you get a nice little conspiracy.On planet x an undesirable being dies, if he/she gets reincarnated in their own civilization you are going to have to deal with that being over several reincarnations until they work their issues out. however what if there was a planetary system built and furnished with lifeforms that could pull the undesirables upon the time of rebirth then planet x would be rid of their little problem and would be a nice little utopia filled with good individuals. Now with all the resourses the earth has and with all the knowledge we have gained why are we still in state we are murder, greed, pollution you name it if its negative we excell at it.WHAT IF the reason the earth is so screw up is because if it does not remain screwed up it will stop pulling the garbage of the universe to it.What if there are beings whit vested interest in feeding our greed ,hatred and the likes ,i mean i can hardly see a soul growing spiritually with so much distraction and tribulations,no wonder wise sages live in seclusion away from it all.If YOU ARE A PERSON THAT IS TRYING TO ELIGHTEN AND UPLIFT OTHERS, THE MOMENT YOUR EFFECT REACHES A CERTAIN MAGNITUDE YOU WILL BE KILLED WHY? Because no body want the garbage in their back yard. I think we are not what what we see in the mirror and that that is just a shell that houses a soul that could have originated from onother civilation on onother planet even.

  5. It's just as likely that aliens are already "here," via molecular-sized drones, spread throughout our solar system. If their technology builds everything from the most mundane, to the most fantastic, on the atomic level, who knows what capabilities that would offer? And who knows how such an ability would affect an alien's concerns. If you can have and do everything, what do you care about, other than maintaining that?

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