There are things you dream about, knowing they’ll never happen: Harry Styles writing a song about the time you broke his heart, or, I thought, proof of alien life. I’d even go so far as to say I have loved UFOs all my life because I believed there would never be proof — it’s their very improbability that makes them so likable. Lately, though, they’re everywhere. Maybe I shouldn’t be quite so shocked that astronomers have discovered a probable sign of life on Venus, but I am!
Here’s what happened: Scientists discovered a chemical called phosphine in the Venusian atmosphere, and they contest that the only explanation for that particular chemical is that something (or someone?) is alive on Venus. Admittedly, some other scientists say the gas could result from “unexplained atmospheric or geologic processes,” but that is much less exciting, and the first group of scientists seems pretty sure it’s more than that. Either way, they agree, more research is needed.
Several scientists have remarked on how cool it is that this potential sign of extraterrestrial life was found on an underdog planet like Venus. Sarah Stewart Johnson, a planetary scientist and head of the Johnson Biosignatures Lab at Georgetown University, told the New York Times, “Venus has been ignored by NASA for so long. It’s really a shame.” It is a shame, and now I’m worried the Venus aliens are going to be all pissed and defensive, which is not how you want your interplanetary alliance to begin, especially when they’re right next door. Hopefully we can find a way to make it up to them, but it might be hard to casually visit, considering the planet eats metal.