We, humans, are fascinated by the possibility that there might be life out there. In what form, exactly where, how will we get to them, are they trying to contact us, have they already reached us, are they among us? These are few of the many questions that we are working on. Some of the most brilliant minds in the entire world have their minds and eyes open for a sign, one teensy indication from aliens to let us now that “Hey! We are out there.”

Till now, this pursuit for extraterrestrial life has been met with limited concrete success. Maybe, because we are looking at the entire thing in the wrong way, we have become prejudiced. What do I mean by that? Well, a new report done by the excellent folk at the University of Cadiz states that we just might be blind to their presence because we are searching for them with the wrong mindset.

Humans even eminent minds in this field have the penchant of looking for alien civilizations which they believe would be something like a split image of us. In more boiled down manner, we expect that the aliens that we are looking for would be like us at least in some socio or behavioral way. This particular chain of thought while looking for extraterrestrial life may very well be blinding our ability to detect alien life that may probably be hiding in plain sight.

The research which was published in the Acta Astronautica talks about a possible scenario. Maybe aliens are out there, but they exist in such a way that we are not able to fathom their presence. The idea may sound far fetched, but as a theory, it’s very much sound if you would leave your skepticism aside for a moment.

The man who co-led the study, Gabriel de la Torre, a neuropsychologist explains the goal of their research, “What we are trying to do with this differentiation is to contemplate other possibilities.”

“For example, beings of dimensions that our minds cannot grasp; or intelligence based on dark matter or energy, which make up almost 95 percent of the universe and which we are only beginning to glimpse. There is even the possibility that other universes exist, as the texts of Stephen Hawking and other scientists indicate.”

Didn’t get it? Let’s see if the experiment conducted by the researchers helps you to understand it. They during their research asked 137 people to take a look at aerial photographs and to say whether the structures and features look human made or natural to them.

Now, the researchers hid a tiny image of a gorilla in one of the photos. They wanted to see if the participants would catch that there is a picture of a gorilla hiding in the photo. Most of them didn’t. They made their identification of human made or natural, most of them missed out the gorilla. This happened because they were not asked to find the “gorilla,” so they were simply not looking for it. You only see, or concentrate on what you want to look at/concentrate on. Profoundly philosophical yet blatantly true, and this is what might be the problem in or alien search.


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