Wanna Talk Alien? Need to Speak Visuals!

Reading visuals - even NASA does it.

Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communication is a recent tile released by NASA, edited by Douglas A. Vakoch. Vakoch believes that when ET tries to communicate with us it will not be through sound but via images. All the stuff you had to learn about reading images is going to come in handy.
"Vision and the use of images would appear to be at least plausible. Although spectral details cannot be considered universal, the physical arrangement of objects on a habitable planet’s surface will be shaped in part by gravity (the notion of a horizon might well be universal) and thus multispectral images might plausibly be considered worthwhile for messages."
So what kind of images do we send out?

One message contained the binary numbers one through ten, equations of basic chemistry, human bio chemistry, and DNA.  Another contained a drawing of what we look like, pulsar directives, and a schematic of our solar system. In other words, a extraterrestrial comic!

What do you think these messages say to an alien? We are a carbon-based life form that likes to count and lives way out on the edges of the galaxy.

How would you create an extraterrestrial comic? What visual would you offer ET?

Colors? Lights? Elements?

A beautiful picture of nature? A crowded city street?

The golden arches? An apple? A swoosh?

It's up to you what message are we sending out on our next rocket?


  1. I believe if we were to share what we deem as representative of our world and society, such as a lush forest, loving family, or a logo of a popular brand, with an extra terrestrial, they will have no basis of understanding. So if i were in charge of sending a visual to an alien life form I would choose a form of "sacred" geometry, such as "The Flower of Life" or Fibonacci's Spiral. At first glance, these geometrical patterns appear to be convoluted shapes, comprised of many circles or spirals; however upon further study you find. Most things in our daily lives are consist of these shapes. For example, "The Flower of Life" can be broken down to various other shapes, such as religious icons the vesca pisces, the tree of life, and the seed of life and also scientific shapes such as the egg of life [the form of an embryo]. While Fibonacci's spiral can literally be found in every living thing, through a simple mathematical formula. Some say studying this type of "sacred geometry" can lead to spiritual enlightenment and a greater understanding of life on this planet, so I believe sharing that with someone who is foreign to this world, would give them an excellent understanding of life on this planet.

  2. If an extraterrestrial were to encounter our species it would need time to understand what kind of species we are and where we come from. Should a life form humans have never encountered know of our species history? Should we be reluctant in giving alien life forms too much information about ourselves or would it be best to have all our knowledge open like a book? Who’s to say that an extraterrestrial won’t use our knowledge against us. There are just too many possibilities of how our first encounter with an alien life form might be, but if I had to send out a visual message to an alien life form it would contain images of human kind’s progress. Starting from how we’ve advanced in science to how we’ve developed in art culture. Major achievements and events that humans have faced together as one such as natural disasters and how we help one another. I would want alien life forms to acknowledge us humans as compassionate creatures who are only curious to know about what else is “out there,” and to not be afraid to communicate with us. It is hard to say how an alien life form might interpret a visual message but it is important to show extra-terrestrials our true nature.

  3. It would be such an amazing feat to bring alien life to earth from a set of images we sent out. If I could pick these first things aliens see from our planet would be great pieces of Renaissance art, pictures form beautiful natural wonders from our planet, and our best and finest technological advancements even if to them they might be insignificant. Hopefully any aliens we attract to earth are friendly and wont want to harm us but its hard to even say how'd we communicate with them what if it is like enders game and they don't have any kind of language and they communicate through other means.

  4. If I was in charge to make a comic visual of ET that would be pretty difficult because this world has so many people with different backgrounds and culture settings. Let’s say that I sent ET a visual of nature but sometimes people in the city do not see nature that often. They would see more of a crowded st. and then in the deserts you see more sand if anything. Our world spices is so diverse it would be hard to send ET a visual of our world that sums it all up in one. I would maybe try and grab pictures from different states and countries to try and make a big picture for him. It may take a while because I would want it to be pretty understand to him. Of course our world is made mostly of water so I would have an ocean or river. I would send also the element of Oxygen because no matter where you are in this world you need air to live. I would add different plates of food from around the world. I would show the city life to the country life. I would probably elaborate more for the United States since I am from here, but I would like to have a mix of things for ET to get a feel for our planet.

  5. I would offer ET simple pictures about life on earth, probably trying to exclude all the negative things we have done, we do not want to give aliens a reason for kicking us out or exterminating the human race. The pictures would mainly consist of nature, so trees and animals, and maybe even technology we have created. But technology might not completely be a good idea because they could misunderstand the pictures for weapons or something and consider us a threat to their species. Honestly, personally, I would stay away from trying to communicate with aliens, would not want everyone else to suffer from my poor drawing skills. If anything I would probably seek drawing lessons or simply print pretty pictures off the internet.

  6. This is a very interesting post. I never thought about the idea of communicating to aliens through images. Yet it makes me question the fact of, do aliens even have pupils or the same visual organs as us. Do they see through sound waves? All of this would decide on what i might draw and try to communicate to an alien. I think i would also want to take into account the idea of aliens having different norms than us just because we don't know what could be offensive or nice to them. Therefore, what i'd say to them is unknown simply because of all of the factors that play a part in communicating.


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