My friend Michael asked me this question a while ago. It was an interesting thought experiment and writing prompt, so I decided to share my answer with you today. I’d love to know how you’d answer it as well. Only time will tell if Michael is secretly an alien who wants to show us other planets, though. Ha!
If one of your friends turned out to be an alien hailing from the general vicinity of Betelgeuse, and offered to help you hitch a ride on the next spaceship to drop by, would you go?
It’s obvious in this scenario that there’s at least one other world out there that can support humanoid life. If someone from another planet could live on Earth for years without a problem, I don’t see why I couldn’t do the same. They clearly have the technology to travel from one place to the next, so I’d assume that I could always return home if I didn’t like it or if the living conditions didn’t agree with me for some reason.
It would be fascinating to see how life – intelligent or otherwise – had developed elsewhere. Did my friend have to undergo any cosmetic surgery to look more human before they migrated here, or would every member of their species look more or less like a person on Earth from the outside? Could I blend into their society or another one like it? This sounds like a wonderful adventure to me.
If the planets I visited didn’t have intelligent life, what kinds of creatures could I find there? Earth has had many different kinds of animals and plants over its evolution. For the first three billion years or so, all of the life here was single-celled. I would be excited to look at those microbes through a microscope, although I’d might need extra safety equipment to survive on their surface if the temperature or atmosphere wasn’t right.
So, yes. Sign me up. I’m beyond ready for it.