Do you think that we can compare the reaction of native Americans to the arrival of Columbus to the reaction of humans if aliens visited Earth? Credit: Jumpstory

If Aliens Visit Earth Would It Be Like When Native Americans Encountered Columbus?

How would you react? Would you be scared or relieved that you know that aliens exist?

Our first real contact with an alien civilization is yet to come. Although we find signs pointing to ancient contacts in the art and the remains of early civilizations around the world, modern man has not yet made contact with a representative of an alien race.

But how would we react to this first contact? Here is an example: would we be as stunned and surprised to see aliens on Earth as the native Americans were when Columbus arrived? 

We are not here to talk about whether aliens exist or not. This is something we have written about on many occasions, and we continue to write whenever new information comes out, whether it is scientific or related to a rare phenomenon somewhere in the world or in space.

Imagine that the year is 1492 and Columbus is on his way to the Americas. A meeting between the underdeveloped tribes and communities of the Caribbean and South America and the advanced (at the time) Europeans is imminent. How do you think did the native Americans react to complete strangers arriving with huge ships from the sea? 

Before we answer this question, let’s think about how we would react now if spaceships with representatives of an alien civilization arrived tomorrow? If these aliens that visit Earth are as advanced in their development as we often describe them, won’t we have the same disbelieving reaction as the natives when Columbus arrived?

According to Columbus himself, the Arawak tribes who inhabited the Caribbean islands that Columbus first discovered did not believe that Europeans were human. We can give the ships as an example. At that time, the tribes used the most common canoes. Huge European ships would have seemed impossible.

As Columbus described them, the Arawak inhabitants thought they saw people coming from heaven, not Earth. We can literally say that they considered the Europeans to be aliens. 

Of course, everything we know about the first contacts and tribes was written from the point of view of Europeans. We can’t know for sure if Columbus’ words are the exact truth and what exactly happened, but I think we can logically imagine the best possible options.

It is not the time to discuss how underdeveloped these tribes were compared to the Europeans, but one thing is certain – the difference was from earth to sky. Now, let’s consider how we, in the advanced technological age, would react to an encounter with an advanced alien civilization visiting Earth.

Would our shock and natural interest be so great? To the native American tribes, Columbus and his crew were like gods precisely because of the development they showed. From clothes and ships to weapons, everything was different.

However, we live in an era in which there are already countless notions of aliens. Besides, we ourselves have high-tech spaceships and technologies that surpass even the wildest dreams of people from just several decades ago.

For an alien race to reach Earth, it must be advanced enough for interstellar travel that does not take years to get from point A to point B. But these are technologies for which there are already dozens of theories, including several scientific models that in the future may allow us such a journey.

It will be a surprise to see a more advanced civilization than ours, no doubt, but it will hardly surprise us as Columbus surprised the underdeveloped tribes.

Perhaps we would be frightened by the potential destructive weapons or infections that an alien civilization could bring. But let’s face it, it won’t be a big surprise if such a race comes with the desire to destroy us. We’ve seen it in countless movies and honestly, there are a lot of people who believe that this is exactly what will happen in the future.

I don’t think the reaction to aliens on Earth would be as uniform as it likely was with the natives and Columbus. For people like us who believe in their existence, this will be a dream come true (unless, of course, they want to destroy us). I would say that many of us would be most happy if we met aliens one day.

At the same time, there are countless people who refuse to believe in their existence until proven otherwise. For these people, such a meeting would probably be a real shock, similar to the one native Americans experienced at the sight of Columbus’s huge ships.

Or maybe, the real shock will be caused by the appearance of these aliens. I seriously doubt anyone believes that they will be green or gray, with huge eyes and long arms, as they are most often described. I think they will look completely different from everything we imagined.

How would you react if a flotilla of alien spacecraft appeared tomorrow? Would your reaction to aliens on Earth be the same as that of the natives to Columbus’ arrival? Or no, let me rephrase the question. How do you expect to react? It is easy to say that we will be brave or scared, but I do not think that any of us can prepare for real contact with an alien civilization.

Honestly, I also do not think most people are ready either. If this ever happens, and I believe it will sooner or later, it will change everything. Literally, this knowledge will completely change not only our future but history also. We can only wait and see how such an event would turn out to be. I only hope that it will happen during my lifetime and not in several centuries, for example. 

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Written by Vladislav Tchakarov

Hello, my name is Vladislav and I am glad to have you here on Curiosmos. My experience as a freelance writer began in 2018 but I have been part of the Curiosmos family since mid-2020. As a history student, I have a strong passion for history and science, and the opportunity to research and write in this field on a daily basis is a dream come true.

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