Here's What Would Happen If There Weren't Actually Any Aliens

We spend a lot of time pondering Martians, UFOs, and life on other planets in general. Onscreen and off, aliens play a massive role in modern culture. When the word "Martian" is mentioned, we collectively gasp and follow it with thoughts of abduction and war. It could be suggested that we have become so acclimated to the idea of life on other planets that we would really feel alienated (get it?) if such beings didn't actually exist.

Picture this... We explore the far-reaching depths of space and make a curious discovery. It turns out there's nobody out there. There's not a snail or a sea monster or a snarling cave creature. We scour the presumed 700 quintillion planets swirling (via ZME Science), and learn that we are utterly alone. Earth turns out to be some wacky anomaly, the only place that is able to sustain life.

This isn't as far-fetched as you secretly believe. Astrophysicist Erik Zackrisson points out that most planets are "quite unlikely to support life due to their orbit around their parent stars." While the premise of an alien encounter seems like the stuff of nightmares, no life on Mars could really mean a "War of the Worlds."

NASA would immediately lose billions of dollars

Once the people of Earth wiped the stardust from their eyes and the disappointment dissipated, scrutiny would inevitably follow. No doubt, space exploration giants such as NASA would come under fire like launching rockets into the air.

NASA has spent billions over the years seeking out alien life forms. According to TechCrunch, the Curiosity Rover alone cost a whopping $2.5 billion. If it turns out it's just a robot up there rolling over rocks and making little clouds of dust behind itself for the sake of some cool Instagram photos, that could quickly become a dark matter for investors like Yuri Millner, who recently contributed a cool $100 million toward finding intelligent extraterrestrials. If investors pulled their funding and NASA shut down, Earth would suddenly become vulnerable to intergalactic threats like comets, asteroids, explosions, and of course, the upcoming war of the worlds.

There would be a war of the worlds anyway

We don't really need aliens to engage in intergalactic battles. Humanity is plenty dangerous on its own. If it turns out there's nobody out there, that means there's a whole lot of space in space. It wouldn't be long before people started claiming planets, or maybe even entire galaxies as their own. Don't think this could happen? It already is. According to Politico, the Trump administration budgeted $12.5 billion for a military space force, which might even be less money than countries like China and Russia have invested. On an individual level, a man named Dennis Hope, who claims he owns the moon, has already sold millions in intergalactic acreage (via Business Insider).

This is all just the beginning of the end. From pyramids to crop circles, disappearing planes to wacky artifacts, we've blamed a whole bunch of stuff on aliens that someone would eventually have to answer for. In fact, in June of this year, a government UFO report showed no signs of alien life, leaving "143 mystery objects" that "defy explanation" (via NPR). If there's no such thing as aliens, that means there must be some other equally or even more sinister force at play.