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5 Dumbest Things Humanity Has Shot Into Space

We’ve Bombarded Some Poor Planet With Hundreds Of Inane Text Messages

Think for a moment about the level of professionalism and craftsmanship which goes into a Doritoscommercial. It seems ridiculous that a 30-second show about corn triangles is made by professionals with years of experience, but they are. Doritos commercials are maybe not the height of our culture, but they’re not that far off the top. space science universe and space station alien science

Now imagine you took all that professionalism and replaced it with the exact opposite: the mewlings of hundreds of internet strangers, a random selection of photos and drawings and text messages stripped from a social media site. Because we’ve sent that into space too. And not even from a good social media site either, but f*****g Bebo. In 2008, Bebo sent 501 messages collected from its site to Gliese 581d, a planet some 21 light years away. space science universe and space station alien science

And what words of wisdom did the users of Bebo send to the aliens? Wishes for world peace, pictures of famous people, and lame jokes. Like requests to not eat humanity’s brains or to “please bring a carton of milk if you come to visit,” real knee-slappers like that. It strains credibility to imagine the point of any of this. Was Bebo imagining there was life on this world that can receive radio signals, and decipher their particular binary format, and parse the humor, and then not roll their eyes? What terrifyingly narrow window of technological competence and comedic illiteracy would this alien race need to possess? space science universe and space station alien science

It’d be the alien equivalent of Bebo itself, wouldn’t it? Well that makes sense, then. space science universe and space station alien science

We Sent 100,000 Craigslist Postings Into Open Space

As you’re probably seeing by now, there’s a pretty low barrier to pointing a radio antenna into space and spraying whatever nonsense you want out there. And as you’d hope and expect, entire companies have sprung up specifically to take your money while doing this. And yes, you’re correct, they do have some of the ropiest-looking websites imaginable. space science universe and space station alien science

That company in particular, Deep Space Communications Network, managed to get itself in the news a couple times by broadcasting garbage at literally no one. The first time appears to be in 2005, when they bundled up 100,000 postings from Craigslist and fired it off into space. No particular part of space; they were just spinning their antenna around at the sky. So if you were hoping to finally get a taker on that 13-year-old ad for a stained couch, don’t get your hopes up. space science universe and space station alien science

In 2008, the same company also broadcast the Keanu Reeves remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still at Alpha Centauri, either as a publicity stunt or because nobody on Earth wanted to see it. space science universe and space station alien science

It was effectively another waste of a perfectly good radio telescope, although considering that Alpha Centauri is about four and a half light years away, and plenty of time has elapsed for a round trip radio conversation to have happened, this stunt may have inadvertently proved the system is barren of intelligent life, simply from the fact that we have yet to receive a signal to “f*****g knock it off.” space science universe and space station alien science

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