Ever notice how peoples' renditions of aliens look like insects?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephenA, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Whenever I watch those shows on aliens and UFOs, or read about them in books or magazines, the pictures they show of peoples' renditions of aliens always reminds me of insects. They have similar head, eyes, nose area, etc. Some of the insects they most look like to me are wasps, ants, and mantids.
     
  2. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I think it's because insects are the creatures on earth that are the most different from humans, yet have some of the same common features (head, legs, eyese, mouth).

    /Mike
     
  3. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    It could also be that Insects are some of the more resilient life forms that we have on the planet?

    KyleS
     
  4. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    It's because they're ugly.
     
  5. andrew markworthy

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    There's a sizeable psychological literature on this topic. It's reckoned that the reason is that if you are depicting an alien lifeform, it must have sufficient features that we will instantly recognise it as a living being (i.e. it must share characteristics of 'real' animals) but at the same time look as un-human as possible. For this reason, unusual eyes and absence of mammalian features such as hair are often chosen.

    The simple fact is that alien lifeforms could take a vast variety of forms, and there is a good chance that we wouldn't instantly recognise a being from another planet as being alive.

    I've always found it interesting that we assume that aliens are likely to be human sized or vast. The thought that aliens might be (by human terms) microscopically small is rarely explored (there is a really neat short story by John Wyndham on the subject).

    On a slight side-note, there is an interesting hypothesis that the 'standard modern alien' (i.e. like the little grey guys on 'Taken') is a standard distorted image seen in some dream states, and that in previous centuries it was labelled as a succubus or incubus. In other words, over the centuries, humans have the same dream-state images (due to neurological rather than mystical reasons) which get labelled according to the dominant beliefs in the culture at the time.
     
  6. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    But, considering how intelligent life forms on earth all have very basic similarities, wouldn't it make sense to assume that they would look about the same elsewhere in the universe too?
     
  7. JayV

    JayV Supporting Actor

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  8. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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  9. andrew markworthy

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  10. Jay Taylor

    Jay Taylor Supporting Actor

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    Everyone has had their home "invaded" by various insects.

    Typical human reactions:

    - If a roach runs across the floor someone screams and someone squishes the sucker as soon as possible.

    - A trail of ants walking across the floor results in a feverish attack with insecticide or whatever you can get your hands on to kill the invaders and keep them from returning to your home.

    - When a wasp happens to fly into your home the family frenzies until it is destroyed.

    Is it really any mystery why those who have had the frightening experience of what they believe was an alien encounter perceive them to have insect-like features?

    Jay Taylor
     
  11. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    It's because they really do look like insects. I've seen them late at night when I'm sleeping...wait...what's that sound? Oh my God! They're here!!!!
     
  12. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    My wife had a interesting insight into their looks.
    It's always said if man stayed in an gravity free enviroment for a long time ....legs would become almost useless. Arms would get smaller too in little or no gravity.
    Most alien drawings actually look like what humans might turn into after many generations of gravity free travel.
    Kind of makes sense.
     
  13. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I wonder what aliens look like, if they indeed do exist, which I believe they do. They may very well look like insects, or they could look just like us. Who knows. Maybe someday people will make contact with them, and live among many types like in Star Trek and Star Wars. And thanks everyone for posting, and not saying how crazy I am for starting this thread.
     
  14. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    The simple fact is that alien lifeforms could take a vast variety of forms, and there is a good chance that we wouldn't instantly recognise a being from another planet as being alive

    We ascribe anthropormorphic characteristics to our fantasy aliens out of vanity and hubris. A civilization able to navigate stellar distances would likely find us as interesting as we find bacteria; or less so.

    Within a generation or two we will vastly increase the computing power of silicon chips, then move on to building even much bigger chips in three dimensions. A processor the size of a grain of sand could have memory and computing power equivalent to current computter networks. Blast a few million or billion of these sand grain space ships over the universe and they will be the first attempts to explore space by a civilization. There could be presently be one or a thousand of these "space ships" in near earth or the solar system and we would never ever be able to identify them. They may come with the capacity to self replicate with earth, or asteroid type matter and propagate their numbers like bacteria, but each with the intellect of a whole Earth civilzation many generations from now.

    Now very sexy, but far more likely than a bunch of Captain Kirk like ants in star ships.
     
  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Enough with the personal insults!
     
  16. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  17. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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  18. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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  19. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    Too many skeptics. Have they gotten to you?
     
  20. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    In the mid-1980's, a very popular and widely believed book described its author's encounter with an alien (or aliens).

    The cover of the book depicted the now-familiar smooth-skinned, hairless bubble head with enormous, slightly-slanting eyes.

    Since then, that is exactly how most witnesses, even under hypnosis, have described any alien they have met.
     

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