For decades, scientists have been on the hunt to find life outside of Earth. With the discovery of many exoplanets in recent years, it is no surprise that one would assume that the chances of life thousands of light-years away is quite high. But what if an advanced species once lived on Earth, or somewhere in the solar system long before the rise of humans? A scientist from Pennsylvania State University believes the idea isn’t as far-fetched as one might think.
According to associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics James T. Wright, it is possible that an indigenous intelligent species existed millions, if not billions of years ago. Wright defines indigenous technological species as species that are indigenous to the solar system, produce technosignatures and/or were space travelers, and are now extinct.
If The Cambrian Explosion Occurred Around 541 Million Years Ago, How could An Advanced Ancient Civilization Live On Earth Billions Of Years Ago?
Before the Cambrian Explosion occurred around 541 million years ago, the fossil record only contained life with simpler organisms. One would assume that before the event, there were no intelligent species around. However, Wright suggests that even single-celled organisms may have been able to organize in complex ways prior to the Cambrian Explosion.
Wright also goes on to explain the possibility of an “explosion” of biological complexity in Earth’s distant past (way before the Cambrian Explosion), which could have been too far back for the fossil record to be reliable. A planet-wide cataclysm may have destroyed all such prior complex life, which could have forced the remaining single-celled species who survived to “start over.” This would make finding evidence for any form of complex life quite difficult.
How The Species May Have Become Extinct
Why is this species not extant? A natural catastrophe such as an extinction-level asteroid may have wiped them out. If there was once advanced alien life throughout the solar system, then cataclysms could have permanently destroyed them. Another possible reason for their extinction solar-system-wide could be from a supernova or a nearby gamma ray burst.
If They Existed, Why Did They Leave Without A Trace?
The Earth is 4.543 billion years old. If there really was an advanced species that lived billions of years before the rise of humans, then why is there no evidence of technosignatures? There are a number of things that might have destroyed any evidence of alien technology.
The Length Of Survival Of Technosignatures On Earth’s Surface
In just weeks: Biodegredation can destroy organic material.
Centuries to millennia: The majority of exposed rock and metals would be destroyed by weathering and other forms of erosion.
Tens of thousands of years: Structures that are large, durable and in the right environments. An example of this type of structure would be Great Pyramid of Giza.
Millions of years: If coal and iron was an important resource for an ancient alien civilization, then the process of mining would likely leave long-term scars on the terrain. If the technology of ancient aliens on Earth was as widespread as it is today, then the geological record might show a distinct layer.
Hundreds of millions of years: Fossilization or preservation in amber have the potential to preserve some records of living creatures. However, this only represents a tiny fraction of the Earth’s surface. It would not preserve any technosignatures.
If the species lived billions of years ago, all technology would likely have been destroyed by plate tectonics. However, some structures buried beneath Earth’s surface may have survived. One may wonder if ancient aliens left evidence purposely for discovery by a future civilization.
What About Advanced Life On Ancient Mars And Venus?
Extinct indigenous technological species may have once thrived on an ancient wet Mars and pre-greenhouse Venus. It is likely that over time, all ancient alien artifacts on the surface of both planets have been destroyed. However, Wright believes it is possible that some have survived for billions of years somewhere in the Kuiper Belt at the edge of the solar system.
The Diﬃculties Searching For Solar System Artifacts
In addition to the possible destruction of artifacts from natural catastrophes (as well as the possibility of the civilization destroying itself somehow), there are other significant challenges scientists face when it comes to searching for artifacts in the solar system.
According to Wright, it is unlikely that any artifacts could be detected from space imagery. He says this is even the case if you were a Martian rover exploring shallow surfaces of Mars.
Ancient Aliens TV Show
Ancient Aliens is a television series involving investigators who scour the globe to find evidence of contact between ancient astronauts and humans in prehistoric times. To back up their claim that aliens may have influenced mankind, they provide interesting findings from archaeology and historical texts. Unlike James Wright’s theory on extinct indigenous advanced aliens from Earth and/or somewhere in the solar system (possibly billions of years ago), the show focuses on ancient aliens who came to visit Earth from deep outer space.
With continuous excavation in many places around the world, maybe one day the investigators will find evidence that supports Wright’s fascinating hypothesis.
It is only a matter of time before scientists discover complex life somewhere in the Universe. After one reads James Wright’s academic paper, they may start to wonder if there really are remaining alien artifacts beneath the Earth’s surface, or somewhere in our solar system.
An interesting thought is whether the first discovered evidence of an intelligent alien species will be from a civilization that is extant, or extinct. Will the SETI institute finally detect an actual signal from an advanced extraterrestrial civilization many light-years away? Or, will archaeologists discover artifacts located beneath the surfaces of Earth? Regardless of how, what, and even where the evidence is discovered, if it proves the existence of a technological species other than humans, it would be the greatest discovery of mankind.
Some of her favorite topics are bizarre web pages, weird stories that go viral and the paranormal.
You can find Kirin on her Google Plus page https://plus.google.com/100770660265855055453