… Read the rest
Despite decades of sending sounds and pictures into space no aliens have responded. Have we been doing it wrong? Tracey Logan investigates, and discovers some novel attempts to make contact – including the smells of our planet.
Artist Carrie Paterson has long dreamed of beaming messages far out to the emptiness of space. Except her messages would have an extra dimension – smell.
By broadcasting formulae of aromatic chemicals, she says, aliens could reconstruct all sorts of whiffs that help to define life on Earth: animal blood and faeces, sweet floral and citrus scents or benzene to show our global dependence on the car. This way intelligent life forms on distant planets who may not see or hear as we do, says Paterson, could explore us through smell, one of the most primitive and ubiquitous senses of all.
Her idea is only the latest in a list of attempts to hail intelligent life outside of the Solar System.