With interests in science and nature, the author explores topics from a unique and sometimes controversial perspective.
Could aliens really invade the Earth, and if so, how would they do it?
A life form capable of traveling countless light-years to get to our planet would be far superior to us and likely possess technology we can barely comprehend. In the movies, the humans always come out on top when aliens come looking for trouble, but in reality, we'd be doomed.
Or would we? While an alien race that traveled to Earth would certainly have knowledge of some seriously hardcore science that would enable them to make the journey, that doesn’t mean they are superior to us in other ways. Just like that nerdy kid from high school who aced advanced trigonometry but couldn’t bounce a basketball without knocking himself out, aliens may be all brain and no brawn.
In that case, we may have a fighting chance. You can say a lot of negative things about us humans, but when it comes down to it we are fairly stubborn and tenacious life forms. We fight tooth and nail against each other, so any invader coming down to this planet with bad intentions certainly will not get a warm welcome. In fact, they will probably get a left hook to the jaw. Or to the pincer. Or whatever.
The possibility that aliens will invade the Earth someday is more real than people may think. Of all the supernatural beings alleged to exist, alien life is the only one that is not only plausible but likely. Our galaxy is estimated to hold some 300 billion stars and 100 billion planets. Surely some of those planets support life, and some of that life is intelligent.
The real question is whether or not that intelligent life is capable of coming here. So, what can we do if they decide the Earth is theirs for the taking? Here’s a look at some of the ways aliens could invade Earth, and how we might stop them in their tracks.
1. Military Assault
Aliens may invade the Earth by launching a military-style assault in an attempt to annihilate us. Who knows what tactics they may employ, but taking out our communications satellites seems a logical first move. Then, they may deploy EMP weapons in the atmosphere to disable our electronics systems.
The third step might be a massive bombardment of the planet by their warships in orbit around the Earth, with the purpose of destroying major cities and population centers. Finally, ground forces and tactical aircraft will mop up any remaining humans that pose a threat.
If their technology is sufficient we may be helpless against such a military strike. However, there are two possible scenarios where we might win out over a superior enemy.
First, we have to hope they are unable to do serious damage to our population centers and military capabilities with their initial cannonade. In this case, some of the most powerful countries around the world such as the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Australia, and China may be able to hold their own against alien ground assault troops. The invaders may have better technology, but we are on our home turf and our military forces are very good.
In the second scenario, humanity is reduced to fighting a guerrilla war. It isn’t likely an alien occupying force would be able to completely exterminate humans by brute force, at least not in a short period of time. Pockets of resistance around the globe would continue to fight back and try to send the colonizing bullies back to their home planet.
In either scenario it is not likely we would defeat a superior alien enemy in the long run, but we don’t have to. We only need to hang in there and cause enough havoc for the invaders to realize that taking the Earth isn’t worth the loss of alien blood and treasure.
With a little luck, if we can make things tough enough for them they'll pull up stakes and look for an easier target somewhere else in the galaxy.
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2. Biological Attack
If an invading force wishes to take over the Earth they may be able to do it without ever firing a shot. They may be able to engineer a pathogen and unleash it on our planet, making a deadly disease do their work for them.
Really, in this scenario invading aliens wouldn’t even need to make their presence known to us. For example, if they had the technology to do so they’d simply need to harness an asteroid or comet, load it up with some anti-human virus, and launch it at the Earth.
From our point of view, we’d see an asteroid impact followed by the outbreak of some strange pandemic that gradually spreads across the world. As our population dwindles and our societies erode it may never occur to the last humans alive on Earth that we have been the victims of an attack. Once we are gone, the invaders move in.
Sounds grim, but surely super-intelligent aliens would choose a method such as this over military conflict. So what can we do?
Our only hope would be for our scientists and researchers to come up with a cure for whatever disease the aliens concocted. Maybe they’d be able to tell it is something made in a lab, but really smart aliens may be able to make it look like a naturally-occurring mutation of a known Earthly virus. In any event, cures and vaccinations would be our only chance at survival.
Some sections of the population may prove to be immune, and very remote human populations may be spared simply by lack of contact with the outside world. So, humanity will go on, but with the way the world is linked together by air travel today it is likely a successful biological attack would mean the loss of billions of lives.
3. Environmental Warfare
Aliens may be able to turn our own planet against us. By manipulating natural forces such as weather patterns and plate tectonics other-worldly intruders would be able to destroy huge numbers of us along with the infrastructure we depend on for survival. Here is another scenario where we would likely have no idea that alien forces are at work.
Asteroids would batter the Earth. Massive tidal waves hundreds of feet tall would crush our coastal cities. Earthquakes would crumble major population centers. Tornadoes would carve wide swaths across the landscape, demolishing everything in their paths. Hurricanes would wreak havoc along the coastlines.
As lost lives pile up and the cities crumble the remaining population would endure the constant burden of rebuilding roadways, restocking food supplies, keeping the power grid working, and maintaining communication systems.
After months or years of a constant battle with the elements, the remaining human population would be back to living conditions something like those of the Stone Age. There would be no more advanced technology to rely on, and no resources beyond what we could get from the natural world.
So how would we prevent our extinction in such a scenario? Aliens may be able to wipe out millions, even billions of us by controlling the weather, but ultimately their plan must depend on the resulting chaos when our world is suddenly plunged back to a time when there was no electricity, functional government, or communication systems.
Certainly, everybody won’t make it, but those humans who are able to adapt to a new world and relearn the skills that allowed us to thrive on the savannahs of Africa, the steppes of Central Asia, and the plains of North America may have a fighting chance.
While we may lose our technology in the short term, and end up in a dark age of sorts, certainly there would be those who remember the science and technology that once made our species great. Once the invaders ceased their campaign of destruction and began to colonize the Earth, the stage would be set for a human uprising and a retaking of the planet.
4. Population Takeover
What if aliens didn’t want to destroy us at all? What if they need us? If their interest in the Earth is not for colonization but for mining its resources it stands to reason they would need a labor force to do the work for them. With sufficient technology, a relatively small number of them might be able to take control of the Earth, but they would still need us to do the dirty work.
But how would aliens force nearly seven billion people to do their bidding? Ruling out some mind-control method where we all suddenly line up and start packing water to be shipped to Zeta Reticuli, one possible way would be through threats.
Perhaps an invasion force would suddenly appear on our doorstep and make it known that unless we provide them with what they want they are going to blow our planet to smithereens. Uh, give us a minute to think about it, we’d say.
Debates would rage around the globe. Where did these guys come from? Are we willing to part with our resources? Could we take them in a fight? Their ship looks pretty cool, don’t you think?
If dirty rotten aliens are anything like dirty rotten humans, they’d probably throw a little manipulation in there with the threats. Give us a thousand tons of water and we’ll spare your planet, they might say.
After much debate, and with the total annihilation of the human race a real possibility, Earth leaders might agree and set up a system for collecting the water and sending it to the aliens.
Of course, the intruders wouldn’t stop there. They’d have us right where they want us. The demands for resources and the threats would escalate until we did little more than eat, sleep, and gather resources. We would be, effectively, enslaved by an alien invader.
The way to defeat such an oppressor is the same as it has always been: Brave people must stand up and fight back, refuse, resist. Eventually, if we were to ever again have hope of being anything more than worker bees, we’d have to start swinging.
Many people won’t survive the fight, but if we can prove to be too unmanageable for our alien handlers they may decide we aren’t worth the aggravation. It would be a long shot, but the only hope we’d have.
5. Genetic Manipulation
Aliens who are intent on invading the Earth may choose to alter our genes as an easy way to wipe us out. For decades believers have said UFOs have been abducting people and conducting experiments. Even if they aren’t, the possibility exists in the future. What if the intent is to weaken our species by altering our genetics so we are more susceptible to disease, or so that all humans are eventually sterile?
Slight differences in our genes determine our individuality as humans, and the traits we will pass on to our offspring. Because of their genetic traits, some people are more likely to get cancer, less likely to have kids, or more likely to play professional basketball straight out of high school, among millions of other possibilities. What if aliens found a way to ramp up all the bad things we could pass down to our offspring?
This would be a program that would span hundreds if not thousands of years, but let’s assume these aliens are patient. Or, let’s assume they have the ability to move back and forth through time. If they let it play out, eventually they could eliminate the entire human population simply by altering our genes.
With nearly seven billion people in our little world, the invaders would have their work cut out for them. But unlike with other methods of invasion, they wouldn’t have to annihilate us on a grand scale. They would only need to tip the population trend in the other direction. Year after year of declining births and increased deaths would eventually take their toll.
The good news in this scenario is that now-living humans would not have to battle alien troops, endure a pandemic, survive endless natural disasters, or go to work mining resources for oppressors. The bad news is eventually humans will become extinct.
So, how could the human race survive? Presumably, once a decline in the population was detected on a serious level our scientists would set out to discover the cause. Perhaps our understanding of genetics is already sufficient to create our own program to reverse the trends. Or, new programs could be implemented so that the healthiest humans could pass on their genes.
Engineering human genetics is always a controversial subject, but in the face of extinction, it may be a necessity.
Hope for Humanity Against an Alien Aggressor
These are just five of the possible scenarios of how aliens will wipe out humans and invade the Earth. Certainly, there are many more, some more hopeless than the ones in this article. Would humanity survive any of these events?
It’s not likely, but there is hope. Humans are aggressive, belligerent, stubborn, and selfish. These are the traits that have led to all the wars ever fought, all the atrocities ever committed, and all the conflicts that exist in the world today. They are also the human qualities that might make any alien invader wish they had stayed home.
But these aren’t the traits that make us human. In addition to the negative aspects of our humble race, there are many good things about us as well. Humans are compassionate and will go to great lengths to protect people they don’t even know. Humans are independent and will fight against injustice wherever it is found. Humans are tenacious and will keep swinging until the bitter end.
Planet Earth belongs to humans and all of the animals and plants that call it home. But it is also the only planet in the known universe guaranteed to provide all of the resources needed for life to thrive. Sooner or later, it could attract the attention of alien invaders with bad intentions. Will we be ready for them?
Will they be ready for us?
How will aliens invade Earth?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Rahul on August 22, 2019:
Earth has already been invaded by aliens who are slowly destroying it. We are the aliens.
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on April 05, 2019:
A study from the SATI Institute came up with another scenario: aliens invade our internet, use mind manipulation or cause us to destroy ourselves and then they pick up the pieces. It's a very easy plan which doesn't require the use of ships or soldiers. We are connected to our internet and it could be our downfall.
This is a well thought out piece and great reading.
Jeremy on April 01, 2018:
It's either genetic attacks, geo-engineering or blowing massive chunks out of the earth from space. And I believe what we get depends on motive. Aliens that can live on earthlike planets will just use genetics. Aliens that cannot but still want to settle could use geoengineering. Aliens that want some of that sweet sweet iron--which they wouldn't cause it's common--would just blow the crust of the planet off. Aliens that can come here can just geoengineer the planet to kill all life. For the sake of argument, let's say the aliens evolved on a planet much hotter than Earth.
1. FWOOSH! +50 Celsius in 1 week!
3. Profit! Now integrate your own biotree onto the planet and sette in.
There is a double whammy of purging the existing biosphere while making the planet more hospitable for your own ecosystems/evolutionary tree at the same time.
I believe the desire to save time and energy are--literally--universal traits in life. You see a kind of law of simplicity and desire for efficiency in nature and physics. No doubt it would apply to evolution elsewhere as it does here. (Aliens that are dead can't attack us unless they're made of a crazy material we don't know of yet...)
General Rule of Thumb: Simplicity and the path of least resistence will be the way aliens attack. This is a universal trait, it's how any species survives--by conserving energy--so it'd literally be implanted into their "DNA" or whatever they have for DNA.
In fact, they might just want the planet's underground resources, or maybe they need a special element that can only be made by inducing chemical reactions with another special element from releasing a lot of energy over a massive area. That massive area could be a host rock/planet/asteroid with the costs of releasing that much energy are outweighed by the value of this special element. They might just do that, biosphere or not.
Either way, an alien attack would probably be swift, all-encompassing and as efficient as possible. Half the time it may not even be intended as an attack, but a mining operation, with life being irrelavent. Military operations on the ground aren't that efficient.
Ausseye on February 21, 2016:
Why would intelligent aliens go to all that trouble when all they have to do is wait and see our alien selves do all the destructivness needed to remove humanity from this planet? I say wait, they say right and we all go round and round the tree of life until it faids into the universal grave.
cryptid (author) from USA on April 19, 2015:
True enough, CM. We do tend to apply a human perspective to the unknown, I suppose because that's the only perspective we know. Human history shows that just about every time a more advanced culture encountered a more a primitive culture it led to bad things for the less advanced culture. We know better now, but it is only natural to fear aliens would do the same.
They may not even view us as an intelligent life form, compared to them. When a farmer plows a field or a contractor digs a foundation for a new home they don't see it as destructive, but to the ant colonies and burrowing rodents who live on that plot of land it is Armageddon.
CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on April 18, 2015:
Why do we always suppose that aliens would come all this way just to attack us? Doesn't this belief say more about us and our aggressive tendencies? If any alien race is more advanced than us then hopefully they have evolved past destroying everything in there path? Maybe they are just making sure we don't have the means yet to break loose and go on a galactic rampage?
cryptid (author) from USA on April 17, 2015:
@Lady Guinevere: I don't know about religious folks, but there will surely be people who side with the aliens when they come.
@kj: I'm on to you!
Seriously though, present-day alien infiltration through a hollow earth, an artificial moon, an undersea base or even blending in with the general population as kj suggested is a chilling idea. I've written about it before and I was certainly thinking about it during the writing of this Hub. Without getting into wild conspiracy theories (I know, why stop now?) we can see evidence that some of the invasion theories in this Hub are already underway if we want to look hard enough.
kjforce from Florida on April 16, 2015:
cryptid....Sorry, but we are already here and have been since the beginning...to be honest, we don't want to take over the Earth...as we are quiet and non-invasive..
you were pretty much " on spot " with this one...loved your take...
Debra Allen from West By God on April 16, 2015:
I agree with AustinStar.
Oh and how about Agartha, Hollow Earth. They have been there for millennium and the forces such as the Government of the Earth have hidden them. In light of that, do you think that someone will slip up and let it be known that they will attack us?
While reading some of this I kept getting cartoons in my mind.
I have had two experiences with aliens and have written about in here. I was told by some to shut up and remove them because of someone getting that in the wrong hands. Someone actually was killed because they told their alien encounter story.
Another thought came to mind...all these religious people out here and how they are so indoctrinated...do you think they are the aliens and will do the aliens bidding and fighting when told? Seriously! I am not joking here.
cryptid (author) from USA on April 16, 2015:
Thanks Andrea and Austinstar! I didn't forget that aliens may already be here. I just don't want them to know that I know what they are up to! :-)
Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 16, 2015:
Great hub! I think you forgot the obvious way, though. Aliens have already taken over and they are totally laughing at us.
andrekennedyjr from Washington D.C. on April 16, 2015:
This is a very peculiar topic however, it is thought provoking. I enjoyed reading this. Keep them coming.