Scientists believe that a strange, cigar-shaped object that recently passed through our solar system could have been sent here by aliens.
It's hard to believe that in the likely infinite expanse that is the universe, there is no other form of intelligent life aside from ourselves. That on the billions of planets out there, there does not exist a race much like our very own. We may have never been in contact with any of them or even seen them, but it seems highly unlikely that there is absolutely no one else out there.
So how are we going to go about proving that? Plus, what are we going to do when we find other forms of intelligent life? Then again, there is a slightly scarier prospect. That another form of intelligent life finds us first. In fact, something that passed through our solar system recently may suggest that we have already been discovered.
The object in question was first spotted back in October 2017. A cigar-shaped object around 750 feet long spotted by a Hawaiian telescope. That's why the object was named Oumuamua. It's Hawaiian for "a messenger from afar, arriving first," according to Business Insider. The strange thing about the object is that it was not orbiting anything, and came from outside of our own solar system.
By definition, that made Oumuamua interstellar. At first, scientists labeled it as an asteroid or comet, despite having seen nothing like it before. However, a paper by Harvard scientists Shmuel Bialy and Abraham Loeb posits it may have been an alien probe. The speed at which Oumuamua was traveling and the strange way in which it moved suggests that it may have been solar-powered, and hence created by someone or something.
There are two theories being bandied around right now. That Oumuamua was part of a bigger alien craft that broke off, or something more sinister. That it was a probe sent to our solar system by aliens, and that it passing by Earth in the way that it did was no coincidence. Unfortunately, the interstellar visitor has since left our solar system, so we will likely never see it again.