It’s been centuries since humankind kept staring at the sky, trying to find something else… And for some time, we’ve been gazing into space to see if there is intelligent life elsewhere in space.
We’ve figured that, if the universe is so huge, we probably didn’t see alien life because they could be too far away. But a new report by researchers in Spain, at the University of Cadiz, comes with a new theory.
The report is called ‘The cosmic gorilla effect or the problem of undetected nonterrestrial intelligent signals’. That ‘cosmic gorilla effect’ theory argues that humans have been looking for aliens that look like humans. So, we believe that alien life would look like something we already know, thus making us unable to see alien life, even if it was right in front of us.
This study was published in the journal Acta Astronautica and brings this new idea to the table. What if alien life is among us, but somehow, we cannot see it, because we expect to look different?
Co-leader of the study and neuropsychologist, Gabriel de la Torre, explains his theory:
“What we are trying to do with this differentiation is to contemplate other possibilities. For example, beings of dimensions that our minds cannot grasp; or intelligences based on dark matter or energy, which make up almost 95 percent of the universe and which we are only beginning to glimpse. There is even the possibility that other universes exist, as the texts of Stephen Hawking and other scientists indicate.”
Their study was proved by an experiment. They asked 137 people to look at aerial photographs and told them to determine if the structures seen were made by man or were natural. In a photograph, there was a small image of a gorilla. A big number of participants completely missed the tiny gorilla in the photo, because they weren’t looking for it.
The experiment is called inattentional blindness, suggesting that it could also happen on a larger scale to astronomers or scientists.
It’s simple: if we don’t know what we’re looking for, then we might not see anything, and this is how we couldn’t see any alien life yet.
PS: Did you pay attention to the photo above?
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.