”Alien Life Beneath The Surface?

”I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth.”

Stephen Hawking

The Fermi Paradox is the most well-known theory regarding evidence of alien life. Many have come forward to provide potential answers, and planetary scientist Alan Stern has one of his own: what if aliens exist in oceans deep beneath the surface?


The search for intelligent life on planets aside from our own has been long. In the decades since the search began, several theories have been proposed to explain our lack of answers, with one of the most well-known being the Fermi Paradox. Named after Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, it questions why humanity has yet to find or meet alien life when the odds suggest that our universe should contain other species capable of interstellar travel.

Many have come forward with answers to this question, with some suggesting we’re looking in the wrong places. Others believe aliens are simply hibernating; the more existentially troubling idea is that we’re the only technologically advanced civilization left.

Alan Stern, planetary scientist and principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission, has another theory to add to all this, which he shared at the recent 49th annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences.

Stern floated the idea that perhaps intelligent life does exist in other parts of the galaxy, but they live in dark oceans found deep beneath the surfaces of whatever planet they live on. Such oceans should exist in our galaxy, as they do in our own solar system — look no further than oceans deep below the surface of Pluto, on Jupiter’s moons Enceladus and Europa, or Saturn’s moon Titan for evidence of that. Buried oceans would also give life more time to evolve, as it would protect them from things that typically only affect the surface.

“Impacts and solar flares, and nearby supernovae, and what orbit you’re in, and whether you have a magnetosphere, and whether there’s a poisonous atmosphere — none of those things matter,”


Continuing to build on his theory, Stern proposed that alien life living in buried oceans may also be unaware of the existence of a surface world. If they knew nothing of that, then they’d certainly know much less about the larger galaxy. Unfortunately, even if they were trying to communicate, it’d be unlikely we’d be able to see it on any spectrum. Very-low-frequency radio may work, but even then chances would be incredibly slim.

There’s also the matter of living in an ocean environment. In order to travel across the stars, their life support systems would require a significant amount of water. Large amounts of water can become incredibly heavy; more fuel would be required to provide the thrust needed to make it out of their home’s orbit.

That said, Stern’s theory is just that: a theory. He also never meant for it to be seen as a definitive answer. “There is probably no one answer,” he said. “What this does is, it adds another element to the conversation.”

Humanity will continue to search for intelligent alien life, as it would easily become the biggest discovery in our history. We can’t predict when we’ll make contact, but we have plans in place when the time comes.


20 thoughts on “”Alien Life Beneath The Surface?

  1. There are billions of stars and planets in milkiway, our galaxy. There are billions of milkiway like galaxies. May in next hundred years, earth people will go for long drive, vacation, job search, marriage, birthday etc in space. There is enormous possibility to explore. Just have a nuclear powered ship and sufficient food. May be travellers can grow their food on space ship.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very nice article and interesting too. At present , we only predict Alien life but the day , we meet will create history because no one knows what type of encounter will happen?? Either peaceful or a major war ?? Wait continues ………

    Liked by 1 person

      1. May be but I hope if they exist , then they should have power equal to ours not more than us because when power equals , then negotiations , peaceful agreements take place 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The learned men, that have fixed at several thousand years the life of this earth, have failed, throughout the long period of their observation, to consider either the number or the age of the other planets. Consider, moreover, the manifold divergencies that have resulted from the theories propounded by these men. Know thou that every fixed star hath its own planets, and every planet its own creatures, whose number no man can compute.

    Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

    Liked by 1 person

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