Odds of Alien Life: What The Bookmakers Think

The logo representing NASA on a black background
Image Credit: nasa.gov

Earlier this summer, hacking group Anonymous circulated rumours that NASA was set to announce that evidence of alien life had finally been found. Those claims were quickly denied but it did bring the question of the existence of alien life into the public conversation once again.

But what exactly are the odds of alien life actually being discovered? Here’s what the betting market is saying.

The Truth is Out There!

The topic of aliens and UFOs is one that excites a lot of people. Pop culture has embraced our obsession with alien life too – Remember the big budget box office smash hit Independence Day offering us a grim look at what might happen if we encounter hostile alien lifeforms?

An image suggesting the truth of aliens is out there, on a picturesc background
Image Credit: theapologeticsgroup.com

Award-winning US TV show The X-Files took things more into the realm of fantasy and conspiracy theorizing. Countless other iconic productions such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and Alien have proved popular with cinema goers who dream of what is beyond the reaches of our own world.

It’s not only TV shows that are captivated with idea of aliens, the world’s most famous scientists and philosophers are too. Check out Richard Dawkins asking Neil Degrasse Tyson about the odds of alien life existing somewhere out there:

We Believe!

“Are we alone?” is a question that remains one of the great debates of our civilization. Our ancestors certainly believed we are not.

It would seem almost naïve and arrogant to believe we were the only living beings in the entire universe and beyond. Bookmakers are taking the question seriously too.

An image showing an 'Alien' that appeared to have been found in 1947
Image Credit: express.co.uk

Paddy Power is offering a market on what year humanity is likely to discover alien life. 2020 or later at 1/7 suggests that the Irish bookmaker and punters are not exactly enthusiastic about the chances of it happening any time soon.

2017 is the second favourite price at 3/1. Surely, that’s due to betting interest from those hoping for a quick buck this calendar year. Or those that honestly believe Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth II are lizards.

2018 is available at 18/1. For that to happen next year, given we still haven’t landed humans on Mars yet, suggests it’s a tall order.  Finally, the year 2019 is listed at 22/1.

Alien Abduction Obsession

For some strange reason, we have an unhealthy obsession with alien abduction.

Even though we know they’re almost certainly untrue, we all enjoy the guilty pleasure of reading the accounts of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens. I mean, who doesn’t love a good old story of Clive the hill billy being taken to a spaceship outside the Earth’s atmosphere and then dropped back into a corn field.

girl with alien top on
Image Credit: wattpad.com

It is speculated that the odds of being abducted by aliens depends on a number of things. If you have been taking a copious amount of drugs then your odds can be as low as 4/5.

If you have been drinking heavily with the guys since 1pm on a Saturday afternoon then your odds are still decent at 100/1.

If you are sober and have no signs of mental health issues then you’re looking more at 500/1.

Communicating with Aliens

The 2016 movie Arrival covered the subject of how communication between humans and alien lifeforms could develop. It posed the question of whether hostility could arise from miscommunication, even if the two sides were looking for peace.

An image from a scene from the movie Arrival
Image Credit: critical-truth.com

It seems almost unimaginable that if we encountered alien life then we would be able to communicate with them straight away. The odds of that happening can be compared to those of Leicester being tipped to win the English Premier League at the start of the 2015/16 season of 5,000/1. Strangely enough, they did go on to win the title that year.

It’s more likely that a situation where both sides are forced to decode each other’s’ communication will occur. Being able to do that could be the difference between peace and war when meeting a new life form.

Expect the Unexpected

The sheer idea of encountering alien life is almost impossible. It has become the stuff of legend within our culture, almost something from fantasy.

Many people actually believe aliens do not exist. What do you believe? What happened at Roswell in 1947? Were the Washington DC sightings of 1952 all fabricated? What were the Rendlesham Forest lights seen in 1980? Why not let your betting do the talking…