Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Truth Behind Horror Movie Ghoulies Part 3: Aliens

Rhonny here. All this month, in honor of the Halloween season, I'm going to share the real life manifestations behind some of your favorite horror film monsters and ghouls. In our second post, I'm going to talk about real life Aliens.

Aliens, in simple terms, are creatures who's origins are not from earth. This life form can range from bacteria and other micro organisms to more advanced creatures, such as the stereotypical portrayal of Martians. The belief in extraterrestrial life has been around since the medieval times and beyond. In medieval times, many worlds were believed to exist, but these world were not based on today's scientific view of the solar system. Text about other worlds can also be found in Greek and some Jewish texts, such as the Talmud. It can also be found in Hindu texts. In the Hindu scriptures, there are said to be innumerable universes to fulfill the separated desires of innumerable living entities.

After the invention of the telescope and the introduction of the idea that the Earth is just one planet out of many, the idea that lifeforms could exist elsewhere became not just mythology, but a scientific idea. One prominent name who supported this idea was Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno, who stated that other worlds "have no less virtue nor a nature different to that of our earth" and, like Earth, "contain animals and inhabitants". Another man who believed in the existence of etraterrestrial life was William Herschel, the discoverer of Uranus. He believed that the solar system would be well populated with aliens and other solar systems would be as well.

Skip to the 20th century, and we find ourselves covered in controversy. In 1938, a little radio show you may have heard of called War of the Worlds was broadcast across the airwaves. Many listeners actually believed the events of the drama were true and that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Some of the listeners actually claimed they could smell poison gas or see flashes of lightning in the distance. In the wake of this broadcast, conspiracy theories became more prominent and a surge of UFO sightings (the actual term UFO was coined in 1952). To this day, sightings are still documented worldwide.

Today, scientists and still looking for proof of life on other planets. Using high tech equipment such as the Viking Mars Lander and Mars Rover, evidence that there may be microorganisms living on Mars and on meteorites have been found. One such instance occured in 1996 and involved a meteorite names ALH84001. Structures resembling nanobacteria were reportedly discovered on the meteorite, which was thought to be formed from rock ejected from Mars. While none of evidence has been conclusive, the reports continue to drive modern day scientists to continue their search for life on other planets.

I hope you have enjoyed this little journey into the history of Aliens, and maybe you'll think twice when looking to the sky.

1 comment:

Kev D. said...

All I know for sure is that Ghoulies made me scared to use the can for a while.

I was pretty young when the first one came out... I swear...