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Land or Water: Where Does Technology-based Intelligence Thrive?

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The question of whether intelligent life is more likely to emerge on
land or in water has intrigued scientists for a long time. A new study
by Dr. Manasvi Lingam from Florida Institute of Technology offers a
novel approach to address this question using Bayesian statistics.

“A
Bayesian Analysis of Technological Intelligence in Land and Oceans,” a
paper by Lingam and researchers from the University of Texas and
Università di Roma, was published in the March edition of The
Astrophysical Journal.

Humans are a classic example of the kind of
technological intelligence that can profoundly sculpt the biosphere
through purposeful activities and produce detectable signatures of their
technology.

In the paper, the authors performed a Bayesian
analysis of the probability of technologically intelligent species
existing in land-based habitats and ocean-based habitats. It was found
that ocean-based habitats should be more likely to host technological
species, if all other factors are held equal, because ocean worlds are
likely to be much more common.

“And
yet, we find ourselves having emerged on land instead of oceans, so
there’s a paradox, broadly speaking, out there,” Lingam said.

The
paper also explored possibilities of how the emergence of intelligent
technology-based life may be disfavored in the ocean, thereby dissolving
this paradox.

“We say that, well, maybe it takes a really long
time for life to emerge in the ocean because of various biophysical
reasons such as the sensory capacities in land versus water,” Lingam
said.

“Another possibility is, due to some set of factors (e.g.,
energy sources), maybe oceans are not as habitable for intelligent life
as we think they ought to be. Currently, the conventional thinking is
that liquid water is needed for life. Well, maybe it is indeed
imperative for life, but maybe an excess of it (i.e., only oceans)
hampers technological intelligence in some ways. So that was another
solution to the paradox we came up with.”

The
team was able to come to the conclusions in the paper through
synthesizing two distinct avenues. First, they drew extensively on data
from Earth to ascertain what intelligent life on this planet has looked
like, ranging from primates to cephalopods (e.g., octopuses) and
cetaceans (e.g., dolphins).

Looking at the cognitive toolkit of
humans, Lingam said they sought to understand in what subtle ways human
abilities differ from the cognitive capacity of marine life such as
whales and dolphins. The second part of the research involved
mathematics and physics, specifically Bayesian probability theory, which
enables one to calculate the relevant probabilities based on some
initial expectations.

While the conclusions in the paper were
derived on a probabilistic basis, Lingam said there is still a lot of
multidisciplinary work that can be done with refining and extending the
models.

“I think one of the nice things about this model is that some of the assumptions can be tested,” Lingam said.

“They
can either be gauged by future observational data from telescopes, or
some of them can be tested by conducting experiments and field studies
on earth, such as looking further at ethology (animal behavior), delving
further into how cognition operates on land-based animals versus
aquatic animals. I think there’s a lot of different animals that could
be further assessed to refine the study. All these questions can, and
hopefully should, attract people from a very wide range of fields.”

For
Lingam, future work pertaining to this study will include grappling
with the metabolic role of oxygen in shaping the evolution of complex
life and how ubiquitous the element may be on various planets. He will
also aim to understand what role the levels of oxygen concentration
could have on the evolution of intelligent life.

Source: phys.org

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“Alien bases” may be hiding off the coast of Alaska, researchers say

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An organization of civilian volunteers dedicated to the study of
unidentified flying objects (UFOs) has issued a statement based on
decades of studying eyewitness reports. According to Mutual UFO Network,
“alien bases” may be hiding off the coast of Alaska, reports the-sun.com.

Researchers
say the deep waters in this region may hold something surprising. After
analyzing reports from the ship’s crew from 1945, they hypothesized
that alien objects could be lurking underwater, off the coast of the
state.

Alleged sightings of alien spacecraft nearly 80 years ago
have become a key point in research. Members of the organization believe
that UFOs move over water and may have “bases.”

Researchers
allege crew members on a U.S. Army transporter ship sailing past Island
Adak saw a massive UFO sized 150 to 200 feet emerge from the water.
Although these reports are nowhere to be found, UFO enthusiasts believe
the unidentified flying vehicles likely were used to commute to
different supposed alien bases hiding in the deep waters.

As
the “secret reports” of the sailors aren’t available, investigators
have taken it upon themselves to unravel the mystery surrounding the
unidentified flying objects and they believe the ocean has alien bases
that humans aren’t aware of.

Enthusiasts claim that UFOs may be
using “underwater networks” or wormholes as superhighways to travel
between points in the universe. UFO researcher Johnny Enoch added that
such objects could serve as a vehicle for aliens.

There are also
theories that other places on Earth could serve as bases for alien life.
A mountain in Seoul, South Korea is believed to be hiding a UFO,
according to Dr. Steven Greer.

An episode of the series “The
Alaska Triangle” features satellite imagery that claims to show one of
the “alien bases” in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

Meanwhile,
another researcher featured in the program showed markings from the sea
bed that she claimed could have been roadways for aliens.

While
the mysteries of the ocean remain unsolved, researchers continue their
search, trying to unravel the mystery of what may be hiding in the
depths of the waters off the coast of Alaska.

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Enormous City-Size Comet Racing Towards Earth Grows ‘Devil Horns’ After Massive Eruption

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A volcanic comet the size of a mid-sized US city has
violently exploded for the second time in four months as it continues
racing toward the earth. And following the massive eruption, the cloud
of ice and gas sprouted what looked like a pair of gigantic devil horns.

The city-sized comet, named 12P/Pons-Brooks, is a cryovolcanic — or
cold volcano — comet. It has a solid nucleus, with an estimated diameter
of 18.6 miles, and is filled with a mix of ice, dust and gas known as
cryomagma. The nucleus is surrounded by a fuzzy cloud of gas called a
coma, which leaks out of the comet’s interior.

When solar radiation heats the comet’s insides, the pressure builds up
and the comet violently explodes, ejaculating its ice-cold innards into
space through seeping cracks in the nucleus’s shell.

Live Science report:
On Oct. 5, astronomers detected a large outburst from 12P, after the
comet became dozens of times brighter due to the extra light reflecting
from its expanded coma, according to the British Astronomical Association (BAA), which has been closely monitoring the comet 

Over the next few days, the comet’s coma expanded further and developed its “peculiar horns,” Spaceweather.com
reported. Some experts joked that the irregular shape of the coma also
makes the comet look like a science fiction spaceship, such as the
Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

The unusual shape of the comet’s coma is likely due to an irregularity in the shape of 12P’s nucleus, Richard Miles, a BAA astronomer, told Live Science after the comet’s previous eruption.
The outflowing gas is likely being partially obstructed by a notch
sticking out on the nucleus, Miles said. As the gas continues to expand
away from the comet, the irregularity in the coma’s shape becomes more
defined and noticeable, he added.

12P is currently hurtling toward the inner solar system, where it
will be slingshotted around the sun on its highly elliptical 71-year
orbit around our home star — similar to the green comet Nishimura, which
pulled off a near-identical maneuver on Sept. 17

12P will reach its closest point to Earth on April 21, 2024, when it
may become visible to the naked eye before being catapulted back toward
the outer solar system. It will not return until 2095.

This is the second time 12P has sprouted its horns this year. On July
20, astronomers witnessed the comet blow its top for the first time in
69 years (mainly due to its outbursts being less frequent and harder to
spot during the rest of its orbit). On that occasion, 12P’s coma grew to
around 143,000 miles (230,000 km), which is around 7,000 times wider
than the comet’s nucleus.

It is unclear how large the coma grew during the most recent
eruption, but there are signs the outburst was “twice as intense” as the
previous one, the BAA noted. By now, the coma has likely shrunk back to
near its normal size.

As 12P continues to race toward the sun, there is a high probability
that we will witness several more major eruptions. It is possible that
those eruptions will be even bigger than the most recent one as the
comet soaks up more solar radiation, according to Spaceweather.com.

But 12P is not the only volcanic comet that astronomers are currently
monitoring: 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann (29P) — the most volatile volcanic
comet in the solar system — has also had several noticeable eruptions
in the last year.

In December 2022, 29P experienced its largest eruption in around 12 years, which sprayed around 1 million tons of cryomagma into space. And in April this year, for the first time ever, scientists accurately predicted one of 29P’s eruptions before it actually happened, thanks to a slight increase in the comet’s brightness in the lead-up to the icy explosion.

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