Alien Seed Globe 2.jpg

Tiny metal disc may be prelude to real-life alien invasion

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Feb 17, 2015, 4:42 PM EST (Updated)

A strange object recently discovered high above the Earth could have disturbing implications.

According to the Huffington Post, scientists in the U.K. recently retrieved a tiny metal object (photo above), circular in shape, that could actually contain micro-organisms sent by another race to seed new life on our planet.

The minuscule sphere, said to be about the diameter of a human hair, was gathered up along with dust and other matter by a balloon sent up 17 miles into the Earth's stratosphere. Astrobiologist Milton Wainwright of the University of Buckingham said that the sphere had "filamentous life on the outside and a gooey biological material oozing from its center."

Now, you could scoff at the idea that this is some sort of advance biological drone for an eventual colonization of Earth -- except for the fact that this very theory has been advanced by a Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Francis Crick, one of the scientists who mapped out the structure of DNA in 1953.

Crick's hypothesis, known as "directed panspermia," was first posited in a 1973 paper and is an offshoot of the idea of panspermia, which suggested that the building blocks of life could find their way across the cosmos by riding along on comets or meteorites. In his paper, Crick thought that the possibility of that happening randomly was less plausible than someone doing it on purpose:

It now seems unlikely that extraterrestrial living organisms could have reached the Earth either as spores driven by the radiation pressure from another star or as living organisms imbedded in a meteorite. As an alternative to these nineteenth-century mechanisms, we have considered Directed Panspermia, the theory that organisms were deliberately transmitted to the Earth by intelligent beings on another planet.

Crick conceded that he did not have enough evidence at the time to back up his theory, but if he was alive (he died in 2004), he might be very interested in taking a look at that little metal globe. Wainwright, whose team is studying the thing, also admitted that unless they find proof that an intelligence of some kind sent the microscopic object, its origins will remain a mystery ... for now.

Do you believe that "directed panspermia" is possible? Could an alien species be sending organisms to seed and colonize the Earth even as we speak?