Scientists might finally have worked out what aliens would look like. And it seems they would be shockingly familiar. Alien life tends to be imagined as strange powerful monsters: either grey humanoids or insect-like killing machines. But they might actually look a lot more like us than we realised, according to pioneering new work by scientists looking to understand what extraterrestrials would actually look like. The problem with imagining life on other worlds is that unfortunately we've only got one example to go by – our own. So we tend to imagine something that either looks like us or looks like something else on Earth, but there's no guarantee that would be accurate. Nasa's most stunning pictures of space Instead, the new study applies evolutionary theory to understand what alien life might look like. And it finds that it would be subject to the same processes and mechanisms that helped bring us about – leading to the conclusion they might actually look a lot like us, too. "A fundamental task for astrobiologists (those who study life in the cosmos) is thinking about what extraterrestrial life might be like," says Sam Levin, a researcher in Oxford’s department of zoology. "But making predictions about aliens is hard. "We only have one example of life – life on Earth – to extrapolate from. Past approaches in the field of astrobiology have been largely mechanistic, taking what we see on Earth, and what we know about chemistry, geology, and physics to make predictions about aliens." Read More: The Independent
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