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What would be the most terrifying message we could receive from ET ?

By T.K. Randall
April 28, 2024 · Comment icon 39 comments

What if we received a message from aliens that wasn't benign ?
Scientists have been listening out for alien messages for years, but perhaps we'd be better off not receiving anything at all.
Nobody knows quite how the world would react if we really did receive a message from an intelligent extraterrestrial civilization, but assuming we were actually able to translate such a message, the reaction would likely have a lot to do with exactly what it was that the message actually said.

Most of us would hope to receive a peaceful greeting or perhaps an exchange of knowledge, but it's also possible that a message from ET could be a lot more sinister.

So what would be the scariest possible message we could receive from aliens ?

Obviously some sort of threat or warning would be particularly troublesome - as Twitter user @FibNewtonian suggested recently, "we're coming" would be particular ominous, as would some sort of countdown not dissimilar to that picked up before the attack in the movie Independence Day.
Another terrifying possibility would be some sort of demand for surrender, or even a message implying that we are being watched or that our planet has been infiltrated.

Reddit user OddFeature suggested that it would be disconcerting if the message - whatever it was - arrived in one of our own languages because it implied that the aliens had been watching us for a long time.

Arguably, anything that isn't a benign greeting might be considered quite worrisome.

Finally, Reddit user AresLeviathan suggested what could be the most terrifying message of all:

"You are the last. Be better than us."

Source: IFL Science | Comments (39)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #30 Posted by Dejarma 18 days ago
"What would be the most terrifying message we could receive from ET ?" got room for anymore? 
Comment icon #31 Posted by mestlc 17 days ago
I don't know if anyone else would find it scary. I think for some this might be exciting but for me it would be "we live among you and have done so for millennia". I love to read into conspiracies that involve alien shape-shifters, like the whole reptilian thing but to actually find out this stuff was 100% true... I think it would wreck my brain lol
Comment icon #32 Posted by Piney 17 days ago
The whole secret invasion by a race far more advanced trope didn't make sense to me as a kid. 
Comment icon #33 Posted by XenoFish 17 days ago
"And I'm all out of bubblegum."
Comment icon #34 Posted by Golden Duck 17 days ago
But, then there was a writer's strike and now we have the sub-genre of historical reality TV.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Piney 17 days ago
Comment icon #36 Posted by MissJatti 15 days ago
I know this is fiction, but it could happen to us  
Comment icon #37 Posted by Montello 5 days ago
trol like you what are you doing on this site  ,hitting to much
Comment icon #38 Posted by Antigonos 5 days ago
You can’t fool me. What have you done with the real Montello? Don’t make me get the Men in Black to deport you off Earth.
Comment icon #39 Posted by Hazzard 5 days ago
What are YOU doing here?

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