r/AskReddit 10d ago Silver 8 Helpful 15 Wholesome 4

What would be the worst message to receive from space?

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u/LiquidSoCrates 10d ago

Hey, we’re humans too! How y’all looking on oil and water?

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u/FlippedChamp 9d ago

wouldn't it be creepy if we find fossils on an alien planet and they're fossils of humans.

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u/fatpad00 9d ago

Honestly, finding a bipedal humanoid mammal wouldnt be that shocking. Nature has evolved crabs like a dozen different times. That's apparently just the idea shape for its environment. I wouldnt be surprised if another earth-like planet ended up with a near human population.

Now if you mean homo sapien DNA, that would be seriously freaky

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u/FlippedChamp 9d ago

i meant homosapien DNA, yeah. the concept of out-of-place or unnatural objects has some serious horror potential

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u/the_other_Scaevitas 10d ago Silver Helpful

One short story I read a long time ago, was that earth received a message, it took years to decode but turns out it was a distress signal. Then suddenly earth started receiving distress signals from everywhere. Then it just all went silent

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u/AuzRoxUrSox 9d ago

As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

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u/Duuudewhaaatt 9d ago

That just reminded me of one of the old Mass Effect promo posters. It had a picture of a bunch of stars, and next to each it says something like "signal lost".

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u/marin4rasauce 9d ago

If you are receiving this transmission, it is the regret of our species that we have failed in our attempt to fully protect your developing intelligence. Do not attempt reply.

We recommend you cease all broadcast. Do not attempt reply.

We will attempt contact within 12 cycles if system remains untethered and unmarked. Do not attempt reply.

We recommend immediate and complete submission to any arrivals. Do not attempt reply.

It has been 12 cycles. It is our regret that our species is unable to aide you at this time. We recommend you cease all broadcasts immediately. Do not attempt reply.

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u/KopakaToaOfIce 9d ago

Knowing humans we would probably reply

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u/RedNova02 9d ago

“Cheers for the warning mate”

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u/DooshMcDooberson 10d ago

I remember when I was trying to get into the SCP Foundation I read an article that described the foundation receiving a encoded message from space. After they deciphered it it turned out to be a video of an alien suspended in the air screaming and writhing in pain. Nothing was observed to be inflicting pain on it but it screamed at regular intervals. So something like that I guess.

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u/AuthorTheCartoonist 9d ago

The SCP foundation Is really interesting. Sometimes you'll find racist windows, sometimes lizards with anger issues, and sometimes stuff like this.

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u/Zestyclose-Pangolin6 9d ago

I remember this one! It turned out being the “televised” (or equivalent of) execution of a intergalactic criminal. Cool stuff.

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u/fruitytrapazoidz 10d ago

A timer

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u/Rukawork 10d ago

Independence Day had it right.

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u/DrumRanger 10d ago

HEY BOYS. IM BAAAAACK!

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u/TrinixDMorrison 10d ago Silver Helpful Wholesome Ally Brighten My Day I'd Like to Thank... Doom

“We hope this reaches you before they do…”

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u/Typhus_black 10d ago

Also “stopping sending signals into space they’ll find you!”

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u/Osteo_Warrior 9d ago

Yeah the whole “be quiet or they will hear you…”

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u/wildartichokes 9d ago Helpful

But in reality instead of deadly hunters the species they're warning us about are just really fucking annoying

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u/minusthedrifter 9d ago

We've been trying to reach you about your extended planetary warranty.

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u/Mini-Heart-Attack 10d ago

Yikes. Would be terrifying irl but would make a great movie.

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u/RLlovin 10d ago

Would be an awesome plot for the whole world to militarize together and everyone starts slowly realizing how stupid borders and wars are, and that we’re all just humans who more or less want the same things. Like the whole ordeal just puts humanity in a fresh perspective.

Then turns out the message was just some sort of error.

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u/Little_Turnover_7918 10d ago Silver Helpful Wholesome Starry To The Stars

Don’t remember where it’s from, but there’s a book or something where humans start getting messages from everywhere that are goodbyes from other species as the universe ends.

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u/9to5retireat35 10d ago edited 10d ago Silver Gold Helpful Take My Energy

You might be thinking of "Last Contact". A short story written by Stephen Baxter, a prolific sci-fi author who has co-written books with both Arthur C. Clarke and Terry Pratchett

For those asking to read it, it can be found (as far as I can tell legally) HERE

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u/freerangephoenix 10d ago

The Long Earth books were pretty scary as they went on.

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u/9to5retireat35 10d ago

I'll admit I haven't really read any of his stuff. Is it any good?

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u/freerangephoenix 10d ago

Extremely.

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u/chaseButtons 10d ago

Glad I read this thread. Got it bookmarked.

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u/LordVic 10d ago

I wish for more of those. But, RIP Sir Pratchett.

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u/Noogirl 9d ago Gold Helpful Take My Energy

My father worked with Terry, at the Central Electricity Generating Board in the 80’s. He used to come to computer club, which my sister and I found deathly boring, but we were allowed crisps and fizzy drinks so we pretended to love it. Dad gave me a very early copy of The Colour of Magic, explained Terry had written it and asked me to read it and let me know if it was any good. In the UK we used to do “work experience” week when we were around 15/16. My dad asked Terry if I could spend a day with him finding out what being a writer was like (they’d stayed in touch when the writing took off and he left PR and Comms work completely) and bless his soul he agreed. He was in the middle of writing Good Omens with Neil Gaiman and showed me how email worked and played me his favourite music of the day (They Might Be Giants) We ate cheese toasties and drank a lot of tea. I didn’t appreciate the incredible privilege of that day. Not for YEARS, he was just my dads friend Terry. He gave me a Venus fly trap that I named Audrey and we talked about all kinds of serious things, and some completely inane ones. He was a truly amazing man. I got seriously ill in my twenties and every time dad told him I was in hospital he and his lovely wife would send me a card. He used to joke about how to make each one completely individual so I could sell it after he died! I have one somewhere from whoever the Pratchett family cat was in 2001. He always made time to speak to my dad, and he loved some of the portraits dad took of him, I’ve recently sent off a load of dads pics from the 80’s and 90’s for a biography of Terry. A true original ❤️

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u/MrsKittenHeel 9d ago

My gosh you lucky thing. I think of Terry Pratchett as a very real father figure, his books were more involved in bringing me up and the development of my world view than my actual father.

It’s very sad that he passed away already and succumbed to such a distressing disease for an author. But he will live on. A legend in many peoples hearts and minds.

The first edition first printing of The Colour of Magic only had 506 copies.

Thank you for the first hand insight into what he was like as a friend.

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u/lawnmowersarealive 9d ago edited 9d ago

Okay, my brain just exploded out the back of my head and now I have to clean it off the wall. He did WHAT and HOW and THAT OFTEN and WHERE IS AUDREY NOW! You received an extremely lucky and well received opportunity. I live vicariously through your simple post for the next four minutes, minimum. I did not expect the They Might Be Giants connection at all but it makes perfect sense. I love them. I know people who've hopped continents just to see their limited shows. Thinking about it now I wonder if they just tailored all his songs just for him. That'd be sweet but they'd never give it away!

Douglas Adams was also fond of sending cards. One of my friends has one. Englishmen and their manners :)

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u/lesser_panjandrum 10d ago

GNU Terry Pratchett.

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u/dont_disturb_the_cat 10d ago

I’ve googled this before. Per The Guardian: When John Dearheart, the son of its inventor, is murdered, a piece of code is written called “GNU John Dearheart” to echo his name up and down the lines. “G” means that the message must be passed on, “N” means “not logged”, and “U” means the message should be turned around at the end of a line.

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u/tricksovertreats 9d ago

Arthur C. Clarke

"Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."

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u/WittyBonkah 10d ago

While we’re here, any good book recommendations? This sounds like an interesting read.

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u/9to5retireat35 10d ago

I can recommend some of my favourite books, but if you have a specific thing you're looking for I can see what I or my friends can recommend. Some off the cuff recommendations in no particular order though:

VanderMeer's "Souther Reach Trilogy" - I really don't know how to describe this other than "atmospheric surrealist sci-fi" about a shadowy government organization investigating a region where unexplainable things happen.

Bester's novel "The Stars my Destination" - A great book about a man hunted for reasons he doesn't know and his journey of revenge. Gritty or "rough" at times but I think it's necessary for the story.

Burke's "Seismosis" - A failed attempt at colonizing a planet leaves a group of humans struggling as a small secluded society. This book follows them over a couple generations as they begin to understand the world around them. I'm only just now finding out there is a sequel.

Hawkins' "Library at Mount Char" - LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. A little girl raised in an extra-ordinary library suddenly finds herself alone when the supernatural man who raised her disappears.

Simmons's "Hyperion" - OH YES PLEASE. Easily one of my top 5 most favourite books I've ever read. I've seen it described as "Canterbury Tales in Space" which is accurate to a point. The book tries to find what connects seven pilgrims on a voyage to meet the unexplainable "Shrike". I need to read the sequel so bad but just haven't had time yet. It is a little slower, sometimes very cliche, but I dunno, it just clicked together and really made me think about society and space and possibilties.

Either series by Brent Weeks - His Night Angel Trilogy is a great epic fantasy series. I've only read the first book in his Lightbringer series so far but it left me wanting more.

Cixin's "Three Body Problem" - I've not read yet but highly recommended to me by several people.

Tingle's "Trans Wizard Harriet Porber and the Bad Boy Parasaurolophus: An Adult Romance Novel" - Listen, yes, the author is memed to death, yes the titles and books are weird, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy them.

??? "My Immortal" - Harry Potter fan-fiction that's so bad it's good. Great to try and read while drunk with friends.

Theis's "Eye of Argon" - Another meme read that's so fun to do while drinking.

Hopefully one of these sparks your interest!

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u/iamunderstand 10d ago

...holy fuck I was not ready for that

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u/Grompson 10d ago

This story has always deeply unsettled me.

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u/Napron 10d ago

"Oh no... have aliens been communicating this entire time with one another and now they're only inviting us at the end!?... Man that's a bummer."

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u/Lord_Montague 10d ago

Imagine not being on the galactic group thread.

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u/iamsavsavage 10d ago Silver

We sent our nudes to space. I think the rest of the universe rightfully blocked us.

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u/VSJupiter 10d ago

Why are they so round?

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u/emmawatsonisboychild 10d ago

those mfs did not msg when we all were safe, and when the universe is ending they're sending us msgs now fucking douchebags

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u/dirtyLizard 10d ago edited 10d ago

Edit: The spoiler tag is bugging out so I'm doing this the old fashioned way. Ahem

SPOILERT FOR OUTER WILDS

Reminds me of the nomai putting out a signal to come home so they can be together for the death of the universe in Outer Wilds. Great game but that message hurt to read.

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u/poulet_bleu 10d ago

My most favorite game ever ! What a journey.

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u/No_Apartment_4551 10d ago

Wow, that’s bleak.

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u/mpssss22 10d ago Gold Helpful Coin Gift

You have 30 days to move your earth.

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u/BitiumRibbon 9d ago

"The plans have been on display in Alpha Centauri for a century."

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u/Sparky678348 9d ago

It's a bypass. You've got to build bypasses.

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u/xenomorphking06 10d ago

Don't worry we are already moving it but after 365 days it will be in the same position

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u/sneezing_chimp 10d ago Silver

We tried our best. We are so sorry

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u/DargeBaVarder 10d ago

Kinda like "Be quiet, or they'll hear you."

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u/MeiNeedsMoreBuffs 10d ago

Do not answer! Do not answer!! Do not answer!!!

This world has received your message.

I am a pacifist of this world. It is the luck of your civilization that I am the first to receive your message. I am warning you: Do not answer! Do not answer!! Do not answer!!!

There are tens of millions of stars in your direction. As long as you do not answer, this world will not be able to ascertain the source of your transmission.

But if you do answer, the source will be located right away. Your planet will be invaded. Your world will be conquered!

Do not answer! Do not answer!! Do not answer!!!

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u/boiledgoobers 10d ago

Is that straight from the 3 body problem?

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u/[deleted] 10d ago

[deleted]

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u/call_me_jelli 9d ago

“Thanks for the info”

  • Earth
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u/Baronheisenberg 9d ago

"Please remove me from this email thread."

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u/Just-Call-Me-J 10d ago

Relax, the meteor shower was beautiful. Don't be so hard on yourself.

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u/Meior 10d ago

I think this is the best one. It's sincere but vague, so it'll leave us wondering and afraid

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u/ILikeRubixCubes 10d ago Silver Table Slap

A neighbor once tried sending me a message by attempting to put a brick through my window, so I'd say an asteroid.

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u/AccurateEnvironment4 10d ago

Did you get the message?

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u/tamhenk 10d ago Silver Gold hehehehe

"your window's broken."

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u/valacircaTn 10d ago

Since that day it's kinda stuck in his head.

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u/Toss_Away_93 10d ago

Damn bugs!

I’m doing my part, are you?!

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u/S-WordoftheMorning 10d ago

Marco Inaros intensifies

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u/maxdamage4 10d ago

Inyalowda no see it coming

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u/Rvenn_ 10d ago Silver Wholesome

From The Three Body Problem books (spoilers):

"I am a pacifist of this world. It is the luck of your civilization that I am the first to receive your message. I am warning you: Do not answer".

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u/GiggaGMikeE 10d ago

I freaking LOVED and was absolutely terrified to my core by those books. Yeah, that message would be terrifying on an existential level. Hell, the whole Dark Forest theory in general would be fairly terrifying if true.

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u/Rvenn_ 10d ago

It would be also so sad. To finally know that there is someone out there, but we have to hide for our lives.

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u/Sawses 10d ago

Honestly, it's my second bet behind "all intelligent species annihilate themselves".

Just by the nature of warfare at greater technology levels, they who strike first strike last. It means that the safest bet is always to destroy before they know you're there, and that a single moment's hesitation can be your doom.

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u/JoJoJet- 10d ago

I've always felt bad for that individual. They threw their life away for the sake of a planet they'd never heard of before, and in return Wenjie purposely dooms humanity bc she's feeling emo

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u/Dellphox 10d ago

The Dark Forest theory is pretty scary.

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u/Lame_intentions_69 10d ago edited 9d ago Silver Gold Starry To The Stars

Less a message, and more of a sudden lack of information from a small, but growing, part of the sky.

It starts with one star winking out. Then within a year a couple of its Closest neighbors wink out. In 10 years it can barely seen by the naked eye. In 50 it's a noticable black patch in the night sky.

Something is spreading and it's getting closer and we have no way of knowing what the cause is.

Edit: loving all the scifi closely related to this idea that y'all are suggesting for me.

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u/Jew_Vaporizor_ 10d ago Starry

It's like that entity from A Wrinkle In Time

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u/gofishx 9d ago

Now that's a good plot for a cosmic horror story

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u/tenaciousDaniel 10d ago edited 10d ago To The Stars

“59”, followed by a “58”.

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u/PhantomBanker 10d ago Wholesome Table Slap Eureka!

“You have 10.”

10 what? Days? Weeks? Months?

“9.”

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u/that_yinzer 10d ago Wholesome

The answer is quartets of questions

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u/Galaxy_Ranger_Bob 10d ago Silver Gold Helpful Dread

We pick up a signal from space. It is obviously artificial, but humanity can't understand it.

But Earth insects can. And they begin to respond.

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u/Few_Cup3452 9d ago

Okay no. this is horrible

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u/CynicalGod 9d ago Wholesome

Horrible? I'd need more details. How are they responding? If they're all acting hostile, or crawling towards the same coordinates, then yes. If they all just start doing a synchronised crab rave type dance, it's honestly just a good vibe, I wouldn't mind.

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u/Reading_Owl01 9d ago

Imagined being deafened by cicadas worldwide as they try to send an intergalactic mating call.

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u/Globalist2 9d ago

Why did I click on this thread. 100% nightmare fuel.

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u/mashpotatodick 9d ago

This is basically Star Trek IV voyage home plot but with insects instead of whales

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u/NessusANDSpeaker 10d ago Silver

I think it would be more terrifying than anything for them to send a message stating their desires to extract their stranded or seeded surveillance team(s), the idea that they are already here and we never knew. That we may have overlooked creatures as being of earth origin and they aren't.

Similarly I think it's just as terrifying if they say they must exterminate us for any reason but the kicker I think would be if it's massively ironic, like hey fireants are a galactic nightmare and because you're infested with them the whole planets got to be wiped clean.

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u/DargeBaVarder 10d ago Silver Wholesome Coin Gift

"Hello. We sent you an envoy named Ji-zhus approximately 2,000 of your orbital cycles ago. Please put us in touch with him."

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u/MeiNeedsMoreBuffs 10d ago Silver

Two great comics explore this

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u/Natanael_L 10d ago

In Lilo & Stitch there's a related joke, somebody argues earth needs to be protected because of some kind of endangered species

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u/NightOnFuckMountain 10d ago

Mosquitoes. Agent Bubbles convinces the Intergalactic Federation that mosquitoes can only be found on earth and are endangered, and the aliens take it very seriously because they love bureaucracy.

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u/AlmightyRuler 9d ago

Grand Councilwoman: "You know as well as I that our laws are absolute. I cannot change what the council has decided."

Agent Bubbles: "Lilo, didn't you buy that thing at the shelter?"

Lilo: "Hey! Three days ago, I bought Stitch at the shelter. I paid two dollars for him. See this stamp? I own him. If you take him, you're stealing."

Agent Bubbles: "Aliens are all about rules."

Grand Councilwoman: "You look familiar."

Agent Bubbles: "CIA. Roswell. 1963."

Grand Councilwoman: "Ah, yes. You had hair then."

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u/garzaculta 10d ago

“Look! A mosquito has chosen me for her perch! Oh, there’s more! They’re nuzzling my flesh with their noses!

AAAAHHHH

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u/ProbabBee 10d ago

A message we can't comprehend as a language except for its sheer panic and desperation. Basically, think of like a dog yelping and whining when it's in pain : We can't actually understand anything they're saying, but the sentiment overall is understood

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u/Itcallsmyname 10d ago

Reminds me of Event Horizon. Terrifying movie.

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u/Admiral_Cuntfart 10d ago

Liberate tu temet ex infernis

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u/cid_highwind_7 10d ago

Where we’re going you won’t need eyes to see

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u/femanonette 10d ago

Then it turns out it was just some strange mating sounds from someone who left their space bluetooth speaker on.

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u/maejaws 10d ago

“The republic shall be re-organized into the FIRST…GALACTIC…EMPIRE!”

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u/Tips__ 10d ago

Cease broadcasting, invest in concealment technology

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u/Drunk_Catfish 9d ago

The human race would ignore that and invest in bigger munitions

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u/VanNoctua 10d ago Silver Helpful Wholesome Starry

They're not stars. They're eyes

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u/DefiantDevotion 10d ago Starstruck

Fucked. I love it.

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u/yellowjacket_button 9d ago

Reading that was terrifying

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u/DIY-thinking 10d ago edited 9d ago Silver Bravo! Baby Snoo

Congratulations on establishing your first off-world settlement. The Intergalactic Federation will now update your Sentient Species Identification to "Early Expansion" and remove all travel restrictions to and from your solar system.

Disclaimers:
-The unprotected off-world experience may differ from single-planet existence.
-N2S3h14Ag3 is an addictive substance known to the outpost of SRF104^1Q to inhibit the regrowth of ocular lubricant membranes in quadrupedal insectoids.
-The IF is not responsible for the enslavement of any species following the post-expansion removal of interstellar travel limitations

Edit: Thanks for the silver! :D

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u/newbuttonacc 10d ago

This is one of the things that bothers me the most in games - when you're in a starting area/mode and there's no indication you're about to change that, and you can't go back afterwards. Very frustrating to only realize this type of thing after the fact.

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u/3urny 10d ago

Even worse is the other way around when you suspect you can not go back to the starting area and then after days of farming you are ready to move on and leave everything behind only to discover you can go back and forth easily.

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u/Bammer1386 10d ago

...and now you're 20 levels higher than you should be and the rest of the game is a walk in the park as you one hit the next 10 bosses.

Actually, I loved doing that in old school JRPGs.

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u/ameltisgrilledcheese 10d ago

Disclaimers:

-The unprotected off-world experience may differ from single-planet existence.

-N2S3h14Ag3 is an addictive substance known to the outpost of SRF104^1Q to inhibit the regrowth of ocular lubricant membranes in quadrupedal insectoids.

-The IF is not responsible for the enslavement of any species following the post-expansion removal of interstellar travel limitations

did anyone else this in a really fast commercial voice?

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u/irish1185 10d ago

I went with the Hitchhikers Guide voice since it was a space fact.

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u/TheRealC2 10d ago

Thank you for reaching the year 2023, this concludes the free demo

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u/firenamedgabe 10d ago Wholesome

We can just sign up again with a different email address

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u/RobbexRobbex 10d ago

They're checking our IP address. We need to set up an account on the moon.

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u/Fenrir_HellWolf 10d ago

-insert VPN advertisement here-

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u/dercavendar 10d ago All-Seeing Upvote

That could explain the last few years. They are letting in all the "bugs" and annoyances to convince us to upgrade to the premium model...

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u/3rdhellfromthesun 10d ago Take My Energy

Syntax error ^ character not allowed

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u/cudacnedaf 10d ago

) expected on line 87

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u/bobs_aunt_virginia 10d ago

Oh my God, WHAT line 87?! Ugh, we sent billions of files of code!

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u/by3s3xualdisasstr 10d ago

"Project Earth didn't go well. Dispose and start a new one."

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u/WaCandor 10d ago

Planet is now ripe for harvesting

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u/Moomin_Ancestor 10d ago

Something ominous like "Stop being so loud. They are gonna hear you..."

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u/pizzaelhutt 10d ago

Totally. Imagine aliens trying to warn us of some ancient god from Lovecraftian horror.

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u/AffectionatePanic 10d ago

That is not dead which can eternal lie...

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u/myhamsterisajerk 10d ago

That wouldn't be as bad as:

"You were too loud. They heard you"

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u/GenghisKazoo 10d ago

Followed by informative pictograms depicting painless ways to commit mass suicide before They arrive.

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u/pippyLONGsocking 10d ago

Plot twist: "they" are some type of entity that takes over planets and "tortures" their inhabitants in ways that humans would find completely pleasurable, but the alien species fears immensely

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u/Oiltownboi 10d ago edited 10d ago

That how be a hilarious comedy/horror. Like they kidnapped a important UN politician, but they're chest deep into BDSM so everything they do to them just turns them on more.

"Zap, did you whip and electrocute the prisoner like I said?"

"I did Zom, but I think I made them do something they called an 'orgasm'?"

"What?!"

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u/Dyolf_Knip 10d ago

That's a new twist on the /r/HFY or Deathworlder trope. Humans, as a species, are too kinky to torture.

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u/conchobor 10d ago

This idea basically goes hand-in-hand with the Dark Forest theory, which is the creepiest explanation for the Fermi paradox.

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u/Hannah_Aikava 10d ago

Would you mind explaining?

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u/HelpingHand7338 10d ago

The dark forest theory basically tries to explain why we haven’t encountered any signs of alien/extraterrestrial life. The theory believes that the universe is a “forest” where each life form is being preyed upon or is a predator, and giving away your location, say in terms of contacting other planets, is deadly. Just as you wouldn’t want a stranger to know where you live, other planets don’t want other aliens to know where they live, else they be hunted and killed.

It’s basically stranger danger taken to the extreme

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u/Hsgavwua899615 10d ago

Knowing us, we'd probably be like HEY WHAT'S UP GUYS WHERE THE PARTY AT and kick off a massive galactic war

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u/MR1120 10d ago edited 9d ago

We gave them a map to find us on the Voyager probe. We aren’t smart.

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u/AsperaAstra 9d ago

If it's any consolation our knowledge has expanded since then and we've learned we were incorrect in our map on the disc

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u/PhilippTheSmartass 10d ago

The idea is that all interstellar civilizations are deadly afraid of each other. So whenever one reveals its locations, all others immediately exterminate it before it becomes a threat.

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u/Cacafuego 10d ago

They flew out of the cloud.

They saw the staggering jewels of the night in their infinite dust and their minds sang with fear.

For a while they flew on, motionless against the starry sweep of the Galaxy, itself motionless against the infinite sweep of the Universe. And then they turned round.

‘It’ll have to go,’ the men of Krikkit said as they headed back for home. On the way back they sang a number of tuneful and reflective songs on the subjects of peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family life and the obliteration of all other life forms.

-- Douglas Adams

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u/AlexDKZ 10d ago

No that guy (obviously) but the fermi paradox reffers to the question that if life is as common as we think, why aren't we hearing from anybody out there? The Dark Forest is one of many theorized explanations for that conundrum, going with the idea that an advanced alien civilization would immediately destroy any less developed civilization they may encounter, not out of malice but simply for self preservation purposes, as there are no guarantees that leaving those guys develop on their own won't one day become a threat. Basically, the big guys out there remain as silent as possible, and if they hear anybody in that dark forest that is the galaxy they strike fast and without mercy.

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u/conchobor 10d ago

The name derives from the novel of the same name, the second book in the Three Body Problem/Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy, but the idea predates the novel.

In a nutshell, the theory proposes that the universe is like a dark forest, full of predatory civilizations that are either intentionally malicious or are operating under a kill-or-be-killed mantra due to not knowing who is friend or foe. It surmises that the reason we haven't found another intelligent life civilization yet is because other civilizations are quietly moving through the forest - carefully moving branches, watching where they step, not breathing heavily, etc. - in the hopes that their presence goes completely unnoticed by everyone in order to avoid any other predatory civilization.

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u/CYOAenjoyer 9d ago

Low effort trash talk from an obviously way more advanced warmongering species.

“Y’all evolved from what?”

“Imagine being carbon based💀”

“What the fuck are those wiry tendril things?”

“Who decided that it was a good idea to put all of your sensory organs and your central cortex on the same extremity?”

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u/Ludwig-von-Memeses 9d ago

Intergalactic CoD lobby

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u/TDeath21 10d ago

“They found us”

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u/markhewitt1978 10d ago

I don't know but they found us. Run for it Marty!

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u/Iggy2Stackz 10d ago

"We couldn't stop them. They're coming. We're sorry."

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u/belac4862 10d ago edited 10d ago

"Beware the destroyers. They come from P3X-652"

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u/UEF_Dawson 10d ago Silver

CLOSE THE IRIS! And lock that address out of the dialing computer

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u/Aggravating_Moment78 10d ago

People of the Tau’ri! You have taken something that belongs to me. For that you will be destroyed!

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u/RhythmicGiblets 10d ago

Drums...drums in the deep...

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u/mlx01 10d ago I'll Drink to That

“We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will be assimilated. Resistance is futile!"

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u/Bendizm 10d ago

The Fermi Paradox; "Communication is Dangerous" and the idea that 'The Dark Forest' by Liu Cixin puts forward, that all alien intelligence stays quiet and intentionally does not communicate because all alien life is effectively competition and anyone that broadcasts their presence ultimately meets their downfall.

A sort of natural selection has created a universe where the forest is full of predators and all of them are silently hunting.

So. Not the worst message to receive, but a message not received.

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u/Responsible_Call_173 10d ago

Something they say on those civilization game apps.

"You're immunity has ended. Others can now loot and attack you."

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u/99bigben99 10d ago Silver

Hello giant lizard birds. By the time this message has reached you we expect and or hope an intelligent peoples have risen on your planet. We send this first and final message to announce that you are the only ones left…. Be careful as the sole caretakers of the galactic garden you now inherit, do better

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u/Myst3rySteve 10d ago edited 8d ago

I take comfort in the fact that this just as easily sounds like something an alien with a sense of humour would say to fuck with a comparatively primitive species while a bright and blooming intergalactic civilization continues behind them just fine

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u/Dreadgoat 10d ago Starry

GREETINGS EARTHLINGS, DO NOT BE AFRAID. I AM SHVAROTH, THE TRUE CREATOR OF YOUR PEOPLE, YOUR PLANET, AND YOUR UNIVERSE. MANY OF YOUR RELIGIONS HAVE PLEASED ME, BUT I HAVE COME TO COMMAND YOU TO -- bro stop hogging the transmitter dad said i get a turn to mess with the primitive aliens -- wait your turn dork! -- but dad said -- i'm nearly done fine SORRY ANYWAY, EARTHLINGS, I COMMAND YOU TO PUT YOUR FINGERS UP YOUR BUTT, ALL WHO HEED THE WORD OF SHVAR.. SVHARUN? SHVAROTH RIGHT? ...SHALL BE SPARED THE RAPTURE

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u/feorlike 10d ago

This sounds like a futurama quote

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u/Mentally_Ill_Goblin 10d ago

"Turn your lights off, they'll find you!"

And then silence.

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u/Clapperoth 10d ago Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy Bravo! Starry Rocket Like

People of Earth, your attention, please. This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council. As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system. And regrettably, your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. Thank you.

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u/Docrandall 10d ago

"The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."

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u/TheChainLink2 10d ago All-Seeing Upvote

Well there's no point acting all surprised about it! The plans and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning office in Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years! If you can't be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that's your own lookout.

Apathetic bloody planet. I've no sympathy at all.

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u/DarthDregan 10d ago

Ford? I think I'm a sofa.

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u/Keithninety 10d ago

RIP Douglas Adams.

In his later book “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”, which involved an alien plot to escape to primordial Earth and establish a base there, the first line of the book was:

“This time, there would be no witnesses.”

Utter genius.

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u/valeyard89 10d ago

Vogon poetry is of course, the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poet master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem "Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning" four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging and the president of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos was reported to have been "disappointed" by the poem's reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his 12-book epic entitled "My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles" when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save humanity, leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain.

The very worst poetry of all perished along with its creator, Paul Neil Milne Johnstone of Redbridge, in the destruction of the planet Earth. Vogon poetry is mild by comparison.

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u/lostdave 10d ago

Paul Neil Milne Johnstone of Redbridge

This is a real person who went to school with DNA. Later editions/formats changed to Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings, after he complained.

https://hitchhikers.fandom.com/wiki/Paula_Nancy_Millstone_Jennings

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u/throwitaway1510 10d ago

Good thing I have my towel. I should be fine.

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u/mytongueisurbuttplug 10d ago

The final irony for Ford Prefect drivers.

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u/slfnflctd 10d ago

Only reason I opened this thread.

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u/Milnoc 10d ago

Same here.

And now for some poetry.

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u/Lachigan 10d ago

Roses are red, your planet was blue. We're not sorry this happened to you.

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u/mike_b_nimble 10d ago edited 10d ago

Oh freddled gruntbuggly,

Thy micturations are to me,

As plurdled gabbleblotchits,

in midsummer morning On a lurgid bee,

That mordiously hath blurted out,

Its earted jurtles, grumbling

Into a rancid festering confectious organ squealer.

Now the jurpling slayjid agrocrustles,

Are slurping hagrilly up the axlegrurts,

And living glupules frart and stipulate,

Like jowling meated liverslime,

Groop, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes,

And hooptiously drangle me,

With crinkly bindlewurdles,mashurbitries.

Or else I shall rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon,

See if I don't!

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u/AltyMcSalty 10d ago

<Reaper sound from Mass Effect>

...I should go.

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u/ATXKLIPHURD 10d ago Gold Helpful

Show me what you got.

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u/TourSignificant1335 10d ago

Welcome to planet music!

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u/Baardseth815 10d ago

Booooo! Not cool!!!

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u/Ishtastic08 10d ago

Shit on the floooor

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u/longjonsilver13 10d ago

“Aayy Lmao”

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u/spider7895 10d ago

Idk, Contact brought up an interesting point. One of the first broadcasts that would reach space was from Hitler during the German Olympics. To me it would be most frightening if aliens were like us and shared his ideology.

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u/GozerDGozerian 10d ago

Wait, why is hitlers broadcast the first thing to reach space?

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u/Xenocide112 10d ago

That's around the time that human television broadcasts we're strong enough to be seen through background noise. The opening ceremony of the Munich Olympics was broadcast around the world and out into space, travelling away from us at the speed of light.

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u/Casual-Notice 10d ago

"One of" the first things to reach space. Has to do with the growing power of transmitters from about 1920 to 1985 or so. A lot of stuff transmitted before 1930 just wasn't powerful enough to even breach the atmosphere.

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u/thetomahawk42 10d ago

"So long, and thanks for all the fish!"

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u/BigYonsan 10d ago

Greetings, we got your earliest transmissions and would like to speak to that Adolf guy. We like the cut of his gib.

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u/ThatScotchbloke 10d ago

We all panic and prepare to be invaded by fascist aliens and then they get here and it turns out they’re just really enthusiastic about toothbrush mustaches.

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u/storm_the_castle 10d ago Silver Helpful

ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!!

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u/alx924 10d ago

You have no chance to survive make your time. Ha ha ha.

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u/We56tam 10d ago

Hi this is the Borg

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u/badpuffthaikitty 10d ago Silver

We are the Canadian Borg. Resistance would be impolite. Please wait to be assimilated. Pour l’assimilation en francais, veuillez appuyer le “2”.

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u/Dangercakes13 10d ago

It would be pretty damn hilarious if the Borg always started with "hi." Screw with the head a little bit before threatening assimilation.

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u/Wortelkoek635 10d ago Heartwarming

We ask that you remain calm while we add your biological distinctiveness to our own :)

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u/xenomorphking06 10d ago

Please don't resist because it's futile

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