Why we imagine aliens the way we do

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Aliens often resemble life on Earth. How did we land on that concept of extraterrestrials?

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No one really knows what aliens look like, but we all have similar ideas about them. It’s often a creature with a big head, long arms and legs, and big buggy eyes. We see these common images of aliens depicted in movies, books, and on TV shows—which are made by us.

Science fiction stories often explore the relationship between humans and aliens. So we often find extraterrestrial creatures entangled with relatable human features. In this video, we talk to Oscar-nominated VFX supervisor Charley Henley, and the director of SETI Research Center at UC Berkely, Andrew Siemion. They both give us their views on how we, humans, perceive aliens and how that shapes our imagination of life beyond our planet.

You can read more about SETI’s work here: seti.berkeley.edu

You can see the full VFX breakdown of MPC’s work on Alien: Covenant here: youtube.com/watch?v=7t-8nR0w6wM

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