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Stingy Aliens Calling Us Collect

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Aliens' fiscal responsibility may be why we haven't picked up the messages they've been sending all these years.

"Aliens wishing to communicate would probably broadcast at frequencies between 1 and 10 gigahertz, where there is less astronomical background noise than in other wavebands," says New Scientist. In other words, where it's cheaper!

"Societies are always constrained by their resources," scientist James Benford points out. "Why did cathedrals take centuries to build? Partly because they had only so many artisans, but also their capital was limited." Benford's analysis of the economics of extraterrestrial beacons with his brother Gregory at the University of California, Irvine, and son Dominic at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland suggests that aliens would choose to transmit at nearer to 10 gigahertz, as this makes it easier and cheaper to create a powerful beam."

The upshot is, we've been spending billions of dollars in the hopes of receiving alien communications, but they've been sending them on the cheap, saving the extra money for all the plastic surgery needed to get their eyes looking all almondy and reshaping their heads.

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