But we’re not sure.
Here’s the mug shot of what scientists have named, a Tardigrade. I can’t imagine anything more alien in appearance. This photo appeared on APOD or A Photo Of the Day, a free Ap that I highly recommend you download…if you haven’t already.
This ap has amazing images from our world and space that are showcased, one each day. Along with each image is an explanation of what you’re seeing.
Tardigrade in Moss
Image Credit & Copyright: Nicole Ottawa & Oliver Meckes / Eye of Science / Science Source Images
“Explanation: Is this an alien?
Probably not, but of all the animals on Earth, the tardigrade might be the best candidate. That’s because tardigrades are known to be able to go for decades without food or water, to survive temperatures from near absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water, to survive pressures from near zero to well above that on ocean floors, and to survive direct exposure to dangerous radiations.
The far-ranging survivability of these extremophiles was tested in 2011 outside an orbiting space shuttle.
Tardigrades are so durable partly because they can repair their own DNA and reduce their body water content to a few percent. Some of these miniature water-bears almost became extraterrestrials recently when they were launched toward to the Martian moon Phobos on board the Russian mission Fobos-Grunt, but stayed terrestrial when a rocket failed and the capsule remained in Earth orbit.
Tardigrades are more common than humans across most of the Earth. Pictured above in a color-enhanced electron micrograph, a millimeter-long tardigrade crawls on moss.”
Sounds like a candidate to me.
Here’s an excerpt: Richard and Treysa are having a dinner date. She has just told him she’s an astronomer and scans the sky every night looking for extraterrestrials.
“Extraterrestrials. Weren’t you listening?…Maybe they’re already here and we just don’t recognize them.” She calmly picked up another forkful of salad and watched him carefully, as if evaluating his candidacy for alien citizenship.
“We’d know if they’d invaded,don’t you think?” he retorted. He thought of bombs, laser attacks and the violence that Braden had suggested with the word, “hostile.”
“Why do you think we’d know?” she asked. “Do you expect them to come in big blazing ships? Have waving antennas? Maybe you suppose they’d have spiny appendages or be big globs of slime? What if our body style is one of the most efficient forms of life and aliens are configured a lot like us?”
“I’ve thought of that and there’s an enormous diversity of life here on our world. As an astronomer, surely you have seen the extreme variety of worlds outside our own. Most are very different from us and have hostile environments that are dangerous to our lifeforms here. To survive them, any creature would have to adapt in a far different manner from us and therefore look very different.”