Did you know space consists of tens of thousands of possibly habitable planets? Yet, one thing is still a mystery - are we actually alone in the entire universe?
Well, as of now, Earth is the only planet that’s known to harbor life. Also, among all the other living creatures on Earth, homo sapien is the only species that has developed with advanced technology. At least that’s what we humans assume.
But, maybe that's way too much of an assumption!
Trace of ancient civilization
Scientists at the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA) and the University of Rochester took an extremely close look at historical scientific evidence to find out whether human beings are the only advanced civilization that has ever existed on the Earth.
The result was an astonishingly mind-bending paper titled Silurian hypothesis, in which there’s a mention of an early race of reptiles existing before humans; much like the fictional species that made an appearance on the British sci-fi show Doctor Who.
Adam Frank, a physics professor and co-author of the paper questions, do we have any clear evidence that humans were the first and only technological species on Earth? Humans have had an industrial society for more than 300 years now, but there has been a strong existence of complex life on Earth for over 400 million years.
In case if humans go extinct today, any civilization that will rise in the future will automatically find it hard to trace belongings and signs of human civilization. Similarly, if some early ancient civilization used to exist on our planet, it'll be very hard for us to trace their footprints and find evidence of it.
Discovery of artifacts
The discovery of tangible evidence or artifacts would certainly act as the most dramatic proof of Silurian civilization on land. But the question is, will we ever end up finding those pieces of evidence?
Frank states that our cities consist of less than one percent of the surface of the entire planet, and any cities or geographical surroundings from earlier civilizations would be very easy to miss for modern-day paleontologists. Obviously, we’re not counting on any Jurrasic iPhone or backhand technologies!
Looking for fossilized bones and other waste sounds like a more promising bet, but if we consider the possibility that an ancient advanced civilization walked the Earth millions of years ago, it would be very easy to overlook and ignore their skeletons and fossils (if they had those!).