Science/Tech

Alien Meal: Scientist Reveals What To Offer Extraterrestrial Beings For Diplomatic Meeting

A social scientist and chef at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University (ASU) has created a “meal” that humans could offer to extraterrestrial beings to help establish diplomatic relationships. 

Christy Spackman suggested to feed aliens with sensory experiences that would introduce the reality of how humans live on Earth, Space.com reported Wednesday.

"Even though the aliens are dissimilar in color or size, they sort of eat the same way we do — unless they are a slug that is eating us," she said. 

For the menu, Spackman used a previous ASU project that aimed to develop communities beyond Earth. The chef looked at how humans and aliens could share experiences and feed information to understand each other. 

Spackman suggested four meals to offer aliens as people welcome them to Earth. 

1. Feast of light 

Light on Earth would offer a different experience to ETs, Spackman said. She suggested an exposure to natural sunlight at James Turrell ASU Skyspace in Tempe, Ariz. 

The facility provides a nearly 15-foot square opening to observe the sky.  

"Your first course is actually the perceptual experience of how light interacts with eyes, and that's going to be entirely different for every species at [the] table," Spackman said.

2. Smell of creosote after a rain 

Another unique experience that would introduce Earth to aliens is the smell of creosote after a rain.

"It reminds me of a freshness, a slight greenness," Spackman said. "Something that kind of makes your nose feel like it's come up against a metal, but a metal that you like." 

3. Welcoming airplanes

She said looking at the arriving and departing airplanes near the Phoenix airport would give another sensation. Simply standing below the flight path of the planes would help aliens feel the vibrations on the ground and how sound travels through the atmosphere.

4. Enjoying the monsoon rain

Spackman said observing the heavy rain until it disappears would be another good sensory meal for friends from outside the Earth. She suggested enjoying 15 minutes in the rain in August to see a quick-lived storm. 

5. The dessert 

The last sensory meal would be a steamed pudding made from mesquite seeds, topped with bitter orange marmalade and cream. Spackman said the food will introduce the complicated cultural history of a colonized region. 

The scientist also acknowledged that there would awkward moments during the tour. 

"It calls for generosity of spirit, both in those who are producing and for those who are consuming, and a willingness to say, 'This will never be perfect, so we can meet at the good enough,'" the chef said.

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