You've probably, at some point in your life, thought to yourself "How would I explain this to an alien?"
If we ever do meet visitors from the outer reaches of space, there's a lot about our species, society, and planet that will likely blow their minds.
Naturally, a lot of people online have given these questions some serious thought.
Here are just some of the funniest, weirdest, and most enlightening things the humans of the Internet would say to extraterrestrial beings.
1. Awkward Encounters: Explaining Our Sci-Fi Movies
If aliens ever do visit Earth, we'll be in for an awkward first impression. For starters, we haven't exactly portrayed them in the most flattering light in our films.
It's going to be pretty difficult to explain to inter-planetary visitors why we seem to be so obsessed with killing them. Unless, of course, they have their own versions of War of the Worlds and Independence Day.
Do you realize that if aliens come to Earth, we will have to explain why we made movies in which we fight and kill them from r/Showerthoughts
2. Underneath Your Clothes: Making Sense of Human Fashion
Humans are fairly fashion-conscious, so explaining our dedication to draping certain fabrics and patterns over our bodies will be difficult enough to explain to an alien race. Once we explain that we cover our bodies for warmth, and/or modesty, we'll need to tackle the curious case of underwear.
There's really no way to explain it in a way that doesn't sound ridiculous.
3. Who Is the Real Pet?: Telling Aliens About Our Animal Companions
If and when aliens visit Earth, they'll find a planet teeming with diverse forms of life. They might, however, be confused and amused to find that humans regularly share their shelter, food, and affection with other lifeforms.
As much as we insist that our pets belong to us, who's really wearing the pants in that relationship?
4. Cars and Starmen: Exploring the Human Fascination With Cars
If an alien species has managed to reach us, they're probably pretty well-versed when it comes to sophisticated vehicles. With this in mind, they'll likely have no problem understanding as simple as a car.
As for understanding why we decided to launch a car into space, on the other hand, that's an entirely different story. Hopefully, aliens have a sense of humor.
5. Earth Years: Calculating Time the Human Way
We're notoriously weird when it comes to time-keeping. Nowhere is this more apparent than how we keep track of what year it is. Though many agree we're living in 2018, this differs across religions and cultures.
So how, then, would we go about explaining to aliens that we know how old our planet is, but arbitrarily chose a different method of measuring time?
Knowing that the Earth is 4.5 billion years how would you explain to an alien that we are only in the year 2018?— guykelly (@thekellyguy) June 16, 2018
6. Planet Abuse: Excusing Our Poor Track Record
We haven't been the kindest to our home planet. Earth has been suffering as a result of our rampant pollution, and that's certainly something that would be of interest to an alien race.
Given how important the survival of the planet is to our own survival, how would you explain to an alien what happened? Or would you just skip the explanation and ask to live on their planet instead?
7. Happy Holidays: Celebrating in True Earthling Fashion
There are a lot of quirky Earth customs that aliens will have trouble understanding. Christmas alone has a lot of peculiar traditions that will take some time to explain.
Like, why do humans cut down a tree and place it in their homes? Why do they tell stories about flying deer? And what's with all the little paper hats?
#Explaintoaliens why one day a year many of us sit with paper hats on our heads while eating dinner.🎅😂— Pauline Ann (@PaulineAnnP) December 31, 2017
8. Don't Judge Us: The Growing Pains of Planet Earth
When we imagine being visited by aliens, we usually imagine an incredibly advanced and intelligent race. If that's the case, they might be a bit disappointed to find us, given how violent and immature we can be.
Maybe it's best to explain to them that we're still young, relatively speaking. We're doing our best, but we're basically a teenage planet.
To whom it may concern, this planet is currently going through puberty, please come back when we've grown up a bit#messagetoaliens— Charlie Hatcher (@Charlarino) August 8, 2016
9. Self-Preservation: Appealing to Alien Tastes
There's a pretty pervasive fear that aliens would present a threat to our species. After all, humans are slow and fleshy, and a potential alien race might consider us to be the ideal prey.
In that situation, all you can do is try to reason with them. In the event of an alien invasion, it's every man for himself.
Please don't eat me! I have a lot of friends. Eat them! #MeetingAliens— felix kiddo (@felixkiddo) March 9, 2010
10. Humans Are Awesome: Impressing Aliens With Our Abilities
It's easy to take for granted how impressive we are as a species. When you think about it, humans are actually pretty incredible. Maybe a visiting alien race would be more interested in our natural abilities than anything else.
Reading over this Reddit comment, it really puts into perspective how fascinating we are as specimens.
11. Super Strength: Revealing the Wonders of Human Strength
Humans might not be the fastest, strongest, or most fearsome creatures on Earth, but we do have some pretty amazing abilities. Our fight or flight response can give us some amazing strength, and that's sure to be of interest to alien visitors.
Aliens might be surprised to see how lazy, slow humans can suddenly find reserves of strength and speed in times of duress.
12. War Games: Making War Into A Pass-Time
If you think about it, aliens might consider us some kind of blood-craving warrior race. We're forever fighting amongst ourselves, and even our civilians engage in virtual wars just for fun.
Any aliens observing us from afar must think we're obsessed with war and killing. Maybe that's why they haven't landed yet...
13. Body Modifications: Piercing and Tattooing from an Alien Perspective
Humans already consider piercings and tattoos to be pretty hardcore, but consider what it must look like from an alien perspective. We intentionally wound and scar ourselves, just because we enjoy the way it looks.
Then again, who knows? Maybe aliens do even weirder things in the name of fashion and self-expression.
14. Who Is the Leader?: Launching Humanity Into War
The cliché of alien visitors in media is that they'll ask to be brought to our leader. But given how our planet is divided into different states and nations, there isn't one clear leader who could greet these visitors.
To avoid any future conflict, maybe let's designate a leader in case of alien invasion.
An alien race could conquer us by simply asking "Bring us to your leader" and watch from afar while we fight each other to decide who is our leader. from r/Showerthoughts
15. First Impressions: Why Aliens Aren't Visiting Us
We might've come on a bit too strong when looking for life elsewhere in the universe. We basically transmitted diagrams of naked humans, with a planetary map of where to find us. If someone sent you nudes and their address, you probably wouldn't reply either.
Maybe there are aliens, and they all think we're creepy weirdos and want to stay as far away from us as possible.
16. Game Over: Living In the End Times
Here's a scary thought - what if aliens have already found us and have attacked us? Depending on how far away they are, we probably won't know of our impending doom for a few more years.
Enjoy trying to sleep tonight.
It is possible, that in a galaxy far away, aliens are already celebrating having destroyed our planet with a long-distance laser-gun from r/Showerthoughts
17. Friends or Foes: Finding Out Where We Stand With Aliens
If aliens do visit, maybe we can finally ask if they're the ones behind all the weird happenings here on earth. Like, what's the deal with crop circles? And did they ever actually probe anybody?
These are definitely some of the best questions to get out of the way right off the bat.