Do Aliens Migrate?

The geese came back, a week or so ago.  We have a little pond next to the house.  Migrating Canadian Geese and Mallard Ducks love it.  Just off the center of the pond is a little island with a gazebo.  Behind the gazebo is a safe and quiet, overgrown spot where a mother goose can nest.  After about a week of grazing, the geese disappeared.  That tells me they are now nesting.

Do Aliens Migrate?
In Canada, they are just called Geese
My kids hate the geese because geese are mean and nasty.  When you approach a mating couple of geese the male will spread his wings and approach you, hissing like a snake.  For me, this is not frightening.  We had domesticated geese when I was a kid and I learned how to grab them by the neck so they could not bite me and extend my arm so they could not flap me.  I am also over six feet tall now.  Oh, and I had a close encounter with an alien spaceship so pretty much nothing scares me at this point in my life.  My kids are not as comfortable around these vicious wild animals as I am.  They stay away when the geese are around.

We had not seen geese in several years.  There was a pair here which arrived soon after we bought the house, ten years ago.  They mated for several  years before something got the male.  Once the male is down it is not long before the female is no longer able to defend the nest.  She goes down and then all the babies are eaten.  We would hear things in the night, terrible other-worldly screeching sounds along with goose honking and splashing on the pond.  I can only guess it was probably a fisher cat.  We have foxes, bob cats, and a lot of other small predators here in southwestern Connecticut but only the fisher cat makes that almost-paranormal screeching, like someone being killed.

When we hear the screeching and the splashing we know the kids will no longer be menaced by the geese.  I also know they will no longer be ruining my lawn.  You should see the mess these things make.  Once their young hatch it is like owning 8-10 large dogs.  We cannot use our yard until the goslings are big enough to fly away because the yard is covered in fecal landmines.  It is awful.

A Friendly Fisher Cat
But the loss is bitter-sweet.  I like the geese.  They are nice to look at and I feel good knowing that I am helping to preserve a little piece of nature in a time when more and more natural habitats are being consumed by development.  I deal with the geese.  But I am happy when they leave.

The geese fly south and then back north again every year.  They like it up North but there is nothing to eat once the ground gets covered in snow.  So they seek food and warmth elsewhere.  If a habitat like my pond becomes inhospitable due to fisher cats, for example, eventually other geese will spot the pond on their annual migration north and drop in to make it their home.  Hopefully we will see a brood this year.

All of this thinking about the migrating geese got me thinking about, you guessed it, aliens.

Do Aliens Migrate?

I wonder if aliens migrate.  I am not talking about what they do on their home planets, right now.  One would assume that anyone with the ability to get from there to here has mastered the technology behind the air conditioner and electric heat.  They can insulate their homes and create comfortable places to live without worry that winter cold or summer heat will kill them.  I am talking about migrating from planet to planet.

Perhaps Earth is a candidate for a migration destination and that is why aliens come here and check us out.  Although I would think that if that were the case they would have stopped and stayed longer than they have, by now.

More likely, we are on the migration trail.  Earth is a rest stop on the way to somewhere else.  We have a seemingly endless supply of water here.  I do not know if aliens drink water but there is wide consensus in the scientific community that water is an essential fuel for life.  It could also be a fuel for spaceships.  If you separate the components of water,  you have hydrogen and oxygen, both good fuels.  Earth may be a free fuel depot for aliens.  We should start charging.

Why would aliens need to migrate to other planets?  If life was so perfect back home, why would they ever want to leave?  I could think of a few possible reasons:
  • God Commands Aliens to Migrate
  • Aliens are Pre-Programmed for Migration
  • Aliens Spawn at the Place of their Birth

God Commands Aliens to Migrate

A few months ago I wrote about how a year on planet LongYear could be much longer than our own.  Perhaps a planet has a highly elliptical orbit around its sun so that over the course of, say ten of our years, the planet approaches close to its sun for 2.5 years, then far away for 2.5 years.  Then it comes back on the other side for 2.5 years and again travels away for 2.5 years.

Life on LongYear would have evolved to make migration an essential survival technique, even for advanced bipeds like us.  They would have made migration part of their culture over the course of thousands, or perhaps millions of years.  Over time they would have developed the ability to grow food indoors and to tame their habitats, somewhat, like we have.

But by that point, migration may have been ingrained into their culture to the point where it is simply what they do.  This did not happen to us because our planet is small and has short seasons.  We adapted to our environs.  A planet with seasons measured in our years would require most animals to migrate, even the smart ones.

In ancient days, humans developed certain rituals which they deemed essential for life.  Today, many of those ancient rituals are no longer necessary, with the advances in Science and Medicine we enjoy, but people still practice them because they are a religious requirement.  For example, animals like pigs may have been deemed unclean because they caused illnesses like trichinosis, which can make someone violently ill.  Pigs were put on the Not Kosher List.  Jews and later Muslims decided not to at pork.  Today, trichinosis has been virtually eliminated in domestic pigs.  But pork is still not Kosher or Halal.  It never will be.

Aliens may migrate because the gods tell them to.  It sounds far-fetched but there are many things we do on our planet simply because of a belief that God commands us to do these things.  Even in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, some people still believe what the bible tells them and will not hear another word about it.  Evolution, for example.

Aliens are Pre-Programmed for Migration

It could also be physiological.  What tells my geese it is time to leave whatever warm, sunny place they spent the winter at and come here to my little pond?  A goose's brain is the size of the fingernail on your pinky.  They are not putting a tremendous amount of deep thought into migrating.  Somehow they just know.  Millions of years of evolution and habit have somehow hard-wired geese for migrating.

Changes to the levels of serotonin may trigger migration, on Earth.  We get serotonin from the sun.  When the days lengthen and our part of the planet gets more direct sunlight, serotonin levels increase.  This may then release a hormone which instructs certain animals to pick up and move.  Humans do not get this urge, probably because by the time Man left warm and sunny Africa, we had tools and fire.  We could take care of ourselves.

This may not have been the case on a planet like LongYear.  Over millions of years, certain Alien species may have become hard-wired, through evolution, to move somewhere else when their serotonin levels change.  This urge to move may be a drive, like to drive to eat or procreate, which they are aware of but cannot (or will not) control.

Once these people developed the ability to inhabit more areas of their home planet, on a permanent basis, they still felt this primal need to move when the seasons change.  Once they developed the ability to travel the Universe, this instinct then caused them to periodically leave their planet and reside elsewhere for a couple years.  In essence they have become Snowbirds.

Anyone who has been to Florida in the winter has probably noticed the abundance of license plates from Quebec.  You may have also noticed a lot of restaurants employ French-speaking waiters, down there.  The Quebecois love to go to Florida for the winter.  In the summer they go home to Canada.  We call these people Snowbirds because they migrate like the birds.  For Quebecers, this is probably not a hormonal instinct, it just makes common sense.  Quebec is cold in the winter and Florida is warm.  The point is, it is not so far-fetched to think that people with the ability to get from there to here might just exercise that ability and travel vast distances across the Cosmos, to live out the winter (or some other temporary change) and then head back home when conditions improve.

Aliens Spawn at the Place of their Birth

Not all animals migrate in search of food or warmth.  Some will travel incredibly long distances because, well, that is where the girls are.  Salmon do this.  They even switch over from fresh water to salt water and back to fresh again.  But aliens are not anything like fish, right?

Yes?  No?

The movie March of the Penguins told the incredible story of birds which do not need to move in search of food - they live year-round in the harshest conditions on Earth.  Yet, every year, penguins travel hundreds of miles on foot just to mate.

Boy, penguins sure are dumb, right?  Are you with me, folks?  Highly-evolved, intelligent creatures would never do the same, would they?  Perhaps.

Many humans do not drink alcohol and yet at some point they may find themselves in a bar, searching for a mate.  That is often where people go.  Bars where single people hang out are referred to as Meat Markets, and for good reason.  The Internet makes it easier to meet people without going to bars or other unsavory places but the main difference is the lack of a bar tender.  You can still drink at home and online dating places are still meat markets.

Could it be that some aliens are aliens on their own planets and are compelled to go home to mate?  If a race of aliens began conquering or colonizing the galaxy millions of years ago, they may need to periodically return home to find a mate.  Think about it like this.  Suppose we Earthans colonized Mars.  Just like when the first Europeans went to Alaska, there would likely be a shortage of women on Mars.  If settlers on Mars want to mate, they either need to bring women with them, try to hook up with the few female astronauts they can find there, or they would need to return home to find a suitable spouse.  Why would it be different for aliens?

Perhaps, after millions of years, they no longer even remember why they travel many light years to get married, it is just what they do.  If so, maybe Earth is not a rest stop along the way.  Maybe aliens come here on their honeymoon.  Earth is like Niagara Falls to aliens.

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Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.