The Zoo Hypothesis; Aliens See Humans as Apes in a Menagerie

By: Paul Wagner | Jul. 19, 2019

If you were an advanced species living on a distant planet, in a far-away, exotic galaxy, would you mount your space-scooter and go out of your way to visit a planet whose inhabitants exalt greed, war, hate-based ideologies, exclusive religions, and glitchy patriarchy? Probably not. You might, however, subscribe to the newsletter.

In 1973, MIT’s John Ball mused that aliens could easily be observing Earth and its inhabitants just like animals in a zoo. The idea that aliens are intentionally avoiding direct communication with human beings on Earth, is the basis of the Zoo Hypothesis. The presumption includes the notion that these otherworldly beings are waiting to make first-contact with us, pending technological, political, and most notably ethical advancements. 

“Our sun is one of 100 billion stars in our galaxy. Our galaxy is one of billions of galaxies populating the universe. It would be the height of presumption to think that we are the only living things within that enormous immensity.”

— Wernher von Braun


The glitch in this philosophy is that given all the millions of species supposedly at play within the billions of galaxies, in all the universes, it would be fair say that one rambunctious, brainy toad, residing somewhere within the endless seas of alien villages, might think contrarily, rent a winged-transport, and beeline it to Earth. 

Evidence of aliens is everywhere. Our intergalactic friends have long been in cahoots with a variety of Earth governments. They might even be mating with our lowest common denominator at local bowling allies, in a bridge-n-tunnel town near you. It might be that if we showed some sign of intelligence or consciousness, we’d have a lot more intimate gatherings with these creatures. 

“If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.”

— Carl Sagan

Let’s give our fictitious friend, Alex the Alien the benefit of the doubt. We’ll assume that he raised some money on the fundraising site AlienKickstarter, and is now able to make the long trek to the formerly blue, and currently decaying planet, known as Earth. He lands in a field and is greeted by a small group of locals who capture, kill, and stuff him, and then put him on display at the local VFW #216. 

While I’m being playful here, the aliens that are most likely residing on our planet might be finding it challenging. I’m not sure what scenario would entice a race of infinitely intelligent Beings to regularly engage with humanoids or desire to live with us, other than hoping to become one of the master races who could eventually enslave us. Beyond that, I believe we’ll be galactically single and lonely for the foreseeable future. 

“In our time this search [for extraterrestrial life] will eventually change our laws, our religions, our philosophies, our arts, our recreations, as well as our sciences. Space, the mirror, waits for life to come look for itself there. “

— Ray Bradbury

The Cosmic Zoo Hypothesis: Is Our Evolutionary Process Precious?

Behavioral scientists pride themselves on how much space they give their subjects during times of observation. It might be that advanced lifeforms are of the same mindset: “Let’s watch the Earthlings as they try to figure themselves out. Meanwhile, we’ll take notes and continue to penetrate their gene pool. When they stop punching each other in the face, we’ll consummate the relationship and formalize it with an invasion.”

It might be that aliens created Earth as a scientific experiment. They may have planted us here with the hope that we’ll eventually become a service-oriented race that will help improve other alien ventures and planets. 

Confining us like mice in a cage, our big-eyed, long-fingered, Alien moms and dads are evaluating us, testing our viruses and bacteria, and wondering how our species went from tadpoles to apes to cavemen to hipsters in a few millennia.

When you compare human beings to whales and dolphins, you might assume that our warm-blooded, mammal brothers and sisters are advanced species. With larger brains and peppier speech functions, the 89 living species of Cetaceans are less aggressive, more communal, and more peaceful, not to mention the cephalopods! If they’re all paying attention, they are probably aware that humans are just small, dumb, inconsequential bullies.  

I liken the Zoo Hypothesis to Star Trek’s Prime Directive which states that first-contact with new species (who have yet to develop warp drive) must be of a scientific nature and result in zero political, social, technological, and monetary interference. Starfleet and The Federation of Planets also warn that premature contact can easily result in significant harm. 

Living in an Alien Zoo; Are We Just Mice?

Would we be inspired to travel a billion miles to hang out with a massive population of aggressive, mentally deficient mice? Probably not. Would we want to establish a coalition with a deficient species that struggles to see beyond skin color? Nope. This is part of the premise of the Zoo Hypothesis. Not only are we less evolved than our potential sponsors and sperm donors, but we are also of no value to them. 

If apes are a teaspoon of DNA away from being human, wouldn’t it make sense that human beings could easily be a cup of hormones away from being advanced aliens (who could easily be more intelligent and conscious)? I think it’s entirely possible that we are either an alien zoo or the aliens that our government has been denying. 

Alien Holocaust

Could it be that somewhere between the formation of the Milky Way and the birth of Earth’s first civilization that a Hitler-like alien devastated the intergalactic community by commandeering and then killing entire planets, all in the name of his warped ideology? Could aliens be so freaked out by this horrific history that they are mind-controlled and technologically prohibited from visiting our planet? It’s certainly a possibility. 

With billions of stars, suns, and moons scattered throughout creation, there’s an extremely high probability that intelligent life, outside of our galaxy, already exists, and many of these critters have mastered interstellar travel. Given the potential scale and likelihood of all this, physicist Enrico Fermi's Paradox seems to validate that Earth should already have been visited by extraterrestrial Beings and their pretty probes thousands of times. 

Have the governments of planet Earth been so diligent and thorough that they have been able to conceal the many alien visitations to date? Have the key alien abductees and first-greeters been so well compensated and threatened that their stories are now safe and secure from public view? Are aliens truly omnipresent and regularly integrating with human life forms? I offer “YES!” to all of the above.

While it’s possible that all the aliens throughout all of the galaxies are listening but not transmitting, there is more than ample evidence that the Earth is at least a pitstop for alien life. With thousands of UFO sightings and 13 million pages of the CIA’s redacted investigation now online, there’s a high chance that the truth will set us free - soon!

“Or maybe, another explanation goes, we are in fact surrounded by ETs and simply don’t know it, perhaps because they decided to make the solar system a natural reserve, a place where other races can go and see what it is like to be in the infancy of civilization (appropriately, this has been nicknamed the ‘zoo hypothesis’.” 

― Massimo Pigliucci


About the Author:

Paul Wagner is an Intuitive-Empath, clairvoyant reader, and a 5-time EMMY Award winning writer. He created “The Personality Cards,” a powerful Oracle-Tarot deck that’s helpful in life, love and relationships. Paul studied with Lakota elders in the Pecos Wilderness, who nurtured his empathic abilities and taught him the sacred rituals. He has lived at ashrams with enlightened masters, including Amma, the Hugging Saint, for whom he’s delivered keynotes at Her worldwide events. Paul tours the world lecturing about spiritual liberation, and lovingly offers intuitive readings and inspirational coaching to help others with self-discovery, decision-making, healing, and forgiveness. Learn more at

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