As technology advances and the world is beset by new conflicts everyday, the more pessimistic among us might favor the possibility of living off-planet entirely. Me, I’d rather put my money on sprucing up our own backyard. For, y’know, when the aliens come.
Don’t look at me like that, you’ve thought about this. You’ve thought about what it’d take to make this place look spick and span for any off-planet guests, lest we risk embarrassing ourselves in front of our extraterrestrial neighbors. Either that, or you’ve tried to imagine what kind of intelligent life it would take for us to help us get our all-too-human s*** together, maybe help get us closer to the multi-species utopian society even science fiction has a hard time imagining. Here’s a list of the kinds of creatures we wish would pay a visit to this big chunk of rock we call home, and what they can teach us when they get here.
Who are they? Aliens that evolved from octopi. They walk like Squidward does.
Where are they from? The planet Oceanum, which is, like, 99 percent water.
Why are they here? Octopi have always been smart, so of course there’d be a planet where they became smart enough to form actual governments. That’s why they came to Earth after all — for diplomacy! I scratch your back, you scratch my molluscan bilaterally symmetrical body. Make like Amy Adams did in Arrival and learn the language! Check if shaking a tentacle counts as a sign of good will.
Who are they? Insects the size of us!
Where are they from? The planet Hive, which is ruled by one Queen. Democratically voted for, though!
Why are they here? Don’t be frightened by the huge mass of locust-looking things descending from the ship! They’re not here to conquer, just explore. While you have them over though, watch how they behave, and maybe pick up a few tricks from a society so ridiculously efficient they practically share one mind. Honey would make a nice token of appreciation.
Who are they? Aliens that have evolved from trees. Imagine a bunch of Groots, or Ents, or if Grandmother Willow had arms and legs. They’re all very sweet and very chill, as most plants are.
Where are they from? The name of this planet can’t be pronounced by the human tongue, but it sounds like leaves rustling.
Why are they here? Y’know how we sometimes like to travel overseas to gawk at extremely urbanized places? It could be that the Plantae might just be looking for a little novelty, hoping for vacation time on a planet where the valleys are made of Silicon and Greenhills isn’t actually made of, like, green hills. Maybe they could help us step our agricultural game up, so be nice! Lest we risk waging war on a civilization protected by actual wooden soldiers.
Who are they? Planets with personalities. Imagine giant, floating, perfectly round heads.
Where are they from? No, no, no. Things are from them. They are the “from”.
Why are they here? Assuming these dudes are uninhabited, being a planet with a mind must feel pretty lonely. Maybe they found Earth on whatever the cosmic equivalent of Tinder is (profile: Gaia, over a billion years old, loves clean air) and thought they could hit it off. Use that to your advantage. Put the charm on and Earth might just end up with its own bodyguard for asteroids.
Who are they? Formerly physical beings who found a way to make their minds live forever, as pure information. Might be balls of light or gas.
Where are they from? They’re nomadic. When you don’t need to breathe you’re probably just flying through space.
Why are they here? To brag. To announce themselves as the final step of human evolution. Which would usually be obnoxious, but they ain’t hurtin’ anybody, and they give such great advice! Words of wisdom you don’t usually just take from your friends just sound a lot better when communicated by effectively immortal beings. “Tomorrow is another day.” “Set aside some time to read a good book.” “Just talk to her!” Noted, sentient cloud.