By Chris Matyszczyk
Technically Incorrect: Cosmologist Fergus Simpson believes that the most intelligent of aliens out there will likely weight 650 pounds. Yes, little green people could be very, very big.
Our fascination with aliens is, I fear, closely correlated to our ignorance about them.
We speculate, we dream, we make movies. At heart, though, we have no idea whether our microwaves, our plastic bags, even our marble dough-rollers aren't actually beings from outer space. (I'm also suspicious of some of the "humans" who live on my street.)
Instead, we imagine little green people.
I bring you, therefore, threatening news. Little green people might actually be very, very big.
University of Barcelona cosmologist Fergus Simpson has been thinking deeply about alien size. He recently published a paper entitled "The Nature of Inhabited Planets And Their Inhabitants."
He relies on a mathematical model that says other planets conserve energy just like we do. "Throughout the animal kingdom, species which are physically larger invariably possess a lower population density, possibly due to their enhanced energy demands," he says.
Bigger beings consume more and release more energy than do smaller beings.
Earth, he says, "constitutes a simple random sample amongst inhabited planets." We have more smaller beings than larger ones. He doesn't believe, however, that Earth is a fair sample. . . .
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