Through the Wormhole: What Do Aliens Look Like?

2011, Science  -   34 Comments

Through the Wormhole: What Do Aliens Look Like?Science fiction writers have always had their little green men. But these humanoid aliens were based soundly on Earth-based life, not any extra terrestrial evidence.

Today, we've discovered hundreds of planets around other stars. As we learn what some of these alternative Earths might look like, science and imagination have allowed us to use real science to imagine the biology of their inhabitants.

Will they have two eyes? Two legs? What color will their skin be? Which species on Earth can give us clues about likely biology of aliens?

And what can we learn from how life on Earth developed to help us understand what ET really looks like? List of all episodes here: Through The Wormhole.

Ratings: 8.29/10from 35 users.

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34 Comments / User Reviews

  1. matt

    i read in a book "URANTIA " there are non breathing aliens living on a planet close by. free read. look it up.

  2. Matt Wellheuser

    It seems that Discovery International doesn't want their shows viewed after they are aired based on copyright grounds. Their right, I suppose just as some of the shows are not allowed to air in our country. The latter is too controlling and reminds me of Fahrenheit 351. As for the copyright, it too will pass, but nobody will bother with this otherwise excellent series once a few years have passed. The Editors, writers and such will get few praises for future work because none will know these good shows. Sad, but in the name of profit, less future profit for all will be gained. There are few enough good shows out there that any need to be blocked.

  3. Kip Keino

    If you look at the pre-cambrian explosion (Burgess Shale), you'll see that some organisms were boneless, yet most (anthropods and similar) had exoskeletons. Only one of dozens of phyla (many of which went extinct) had an internal skeleton. That flatworm-looking little fellow led to all reptiles, fish, and mammals. For that reason, I strongly suspect that nearly all alien life forms we encounter will either be boneless or, more likely, they'll have exoskeletons. Internal skeletons (endoskeletal) like us, are a rare oddity, in a universal perspective.

  4. Nirmal C Kumar

    What happens if we find no human like species ?
    What happens all the human like species are territorial ?
    What happens all of them have the same social structure?
    What happens if none of us make it ?
    yes that lots of happens but this worries me deeply.

  5. Christinne

    Some are humanoids, some are reptoids and so on....

  6. Callum Paisnel

    a fundamentally computerized intelligent life-form THE BORG!!!!

    (Star Trek reference, for all of you non losers out there)

  7. GreatMoel

    Unfortunately the odds are against us in finding Intelligent civilisations.

    Time and space:
    Simply the distance is too vast for light/ information to travel, that even in a 1000 years we find something, it might take hundreds or thousand of years to change even a "Hello" message.

    Window of opportunity:

    Not many species could have the same good odds as humans to advance/ evolve technically.

    We are "lucky"because:
    - We had a long undisturbed time period (thousands of years without major climate change)
    - A diverse planet with many available resources. Human technical revolution could happen because we could utilize the energy stored in wood, later carbon, later petrol, later radioactive minerals.
    if you don't have large stockings of stored energy in a planet there is very little chance that a civilisation could evolve this quickly.
    For eg. if we wouldn't have had fossil fuels we couldn't have sent out even one space craft.
    Or if there is an advanced civilisation but there is little sunlight, or little deposits of available minerals. There is a minimal chance of building a durable spacecraft. (Our planet recycles and brings to the surface materials so it was easy for us to acces them But think of a frozen, planet with low sunlight, no fossil fuel, deposits of ore hidden under kilometres of ice and rock, even a technologically advanced civ would be imprisoned in their planet)

    1. Joseph

      fossil fuels come from life, if life were on a planet and it was carbon-based as is most likely then they would undoubtedly have fossil fuels, as well as wood. And radioactive material is quite abundant, whose to say their planet wouldn't have a lot of helium-3 which we don't have on earth, but which is a very potent energy source. And did you not watch the program, if the planet was bigger it would be better able to deal with changes in temperature and so it would be more constant and stable. Plus, the human species hasn't had a period of uninterrupted climate, we as a species lived through the ice age. And yes, there are some planets where there aren't the conditions for advanced life, but there are many more we are finding that do.

  8. stevethedoctor1

    just to point out to the fool who thinks the English are German, as i can tell you must be from the USA and your history is some what off I would say. The south east of England has some history of German blood, while the rest has a history from the Vikings who came from the north. also add the Celtic who are the original English people. and if I believe correctly I think its the USA that has a problem with illegal aliens. i would hate to see your blood line.

    1. Callum Paisnel

      To be honest friend I like your comment, but the only problem is, as this is a common problem, is that every single person to whom can say that they are 100% English is completely nuts, as you pointed out every single person has some Germanic (Scandinavian) bloodline from multiple civilisations and invasions. A prime example comes from the Norman conquest, when the Normans invaded they made sure that they crushed any rebellion from Celtic or Saxon influence, thus making sure that no pure Englishman existed. So to conclude every single Englishman (as I am myself desended from Norman heritage and English) is a hybrid mixture of multipul civilisations from around the world and it is truely upsetting when people say that Whites and Blacks should not mate, in my opinion I see no reason as for why this is a problem inter-civilisation and racial mating had taken place since the dawn of humaniod earth. another example of this is from when Homo sapiens first came to europe, back then (roughly between 100,000 - 50,000 BC) Homo sapiens and Neandathals most probibaly mated thus making the HUMAN that we know as today again a hybrid mixture of multipul humanoid species. this could explain the multipul differences between Caucasians, Asians and Africans, thus making racism pointless because no one is pure E.G English, Scottish, American or even African we are all linked via a (metaphorical) root of a tree and thus making us all brothers and sisters of the same sorry ass race, so let us stop making racist remarks on a forum about a video of which describes the wonder of diversion and the beauty of difference.


    2. Alvin J Savoy

      Very well put Callum , I couldn't have said it better , CUDOS

  9. Ian Denn

    you may have to find a trillion planets with life before you bump into one with life that have evolved a higher technology, and should it happen they will most likely be very similar to us. Its a creature that was able to compete and survive with other predatory lifeforms, and they will need to produce tools so they also need complex manipulators like hands, a fish would not be able to build anything of interest no matter how intelligent it was. So there is many things that are ruled out, when guessing the look of something stepping out of an alien space ship. Intelligent life also seems to have its limits, intelligent people will be stopped by existential questions, when you run out of reasons to do things, would the only person on the planet care how he/she was dressed on Sundays, or you could figure out that time and space is just an illusion, well there are many things to consider, and very few was mentioned in this documentary.

  10. lizardking2012

    English people are historically illegal German immigrants, do they count as aliens? jk

  11. Mateo Villa

    "These are trilobites"
    I thought there where sea scorpions O.o

  12. mikebayer79

    I'm guessing that "intelligent" alien life may be unlike anything we can imagine. Perhaps a network of mold that is able to relay information from one side of a planet to another, and pre-adapt to environmental conditions experienced by the connecting mold on the opposite side of the planet.

    Life? Check. Ability to communicate? Check. Ability to learn? Check.

    Anything like what this video presents as intelligent life? Not even close.

  13. Carlos Lopez

    Watch the full documentary science and imagination have allowed us to use real science to imagine the biology of their inhabitants.

  14. Greg_Mc

    interesting doc although I got a little freaked out around the 30 minute mark when the guy put the disk into that computer. Didn't know if he was looking for aliens or challenging Morgan to a game of pong.

  15. roxwal

    The question...what do aliens look like? doesn't have just one answer. Aliens would be as diverse as the creatures on earth. And I believe that many creatures if not all of them are similar in appearance to alien life. And whether a person believes it or not...aliens are living among us already and have been for a long long time.

    1. Achems_Razor


      Your right! about aliens living with us now. Have for a fact took out women that were not of this world. And not even from Venus, think they were from the Plediades star cluster some 440 light years away.

  16. PaulGloor

    We will know it when we see it. A passing thought of mine, could machine intelligence evolve on its own ? Electrically conductive crystalline deposits could possibly form the basis of a brain structure... no ? given the right conditions, I think many of our synthetic materials could naturally form.

  17. outofthisword

    I am sitting here in another planet, looking right at earth, and I am pondering the best question of them all: how can I destroy these parasites called "homo sapiens" once and for all before they destroy their earth?

  18. Guest

    We will encounter the true alien when we realize we are not physical. This physicallity is holding together because of us keeping it glued that way.
    Energy, that's what we really are, the rest is a dream.
    Being between
    May be...May be not

  19. Teddy Mcd

    So - I am sitting here 51.44 m light years away and I am pondering the same question that all other aliens are. May we meet in peace.

  20. tariqxl

    We are the borg, resistance is futile lmao

  21. John Gracy

    They will be completely different than our perceptions of phylogeny, perhaps even dimensional or energetic in nature, what would our species look like in say 100,000 years, what would our technology look like, it would be so far outside our present imagination as to seem miraculous. That is why I think our radio telescopey is rather naive to assume this is is the type of energy that an alien intelligence would even use. It is possibly that alien intelligence so advanced that radiography would equivocate to flint knives.

    Judging from where quantum theory is taking us, If anything it will come through a dimensional or energetic quantum substrate, perhaps even through a type conscious perceptional ability. Language and communication of information may not follow the rules we presently have models for.

    1. Irishkev

      Very astute John.

    2. Fahrvergnügen Von Strichtenber


    3. Val Valiant Five

      I completely agree,

      We (humans) are observing reality with only five or six scenes - Imagine what we could observe if we had as many scenes as their are stars in the sky.

  22. Guest

    DAh ! What do Aliens look like ?
    That's an easy one!
    An Alien will look like Obama :-) They are sneaky and secretive They hide their identity and do things behind closed doors LOL

    1. David Witchley

      Wait a minute there. I thought the alien would look like Bush. Pale, beaten down looking with no grasp on the human language.

    2. roxwal

      You may be joking...but in truth, you are close to being correct...and I'm not joking

  23. Eric71Can

    I think there are plenty of planets in the universe with beings almost identical as us. For the rest, you can imagine something and it should exist somewhere.

  24. Nicholas Horlocker

    I liked it, though it seems a bit ridiculous to predict what life on other planets might look like before knowing basics such as what the planet is made of, temperature, etc.

    Not the best Through the Wormhole episode, IMHO.

  25. KsDevil

    Essentially an update to Alien Planet