Legendary physicist Stephen Hawking passed away earlier today, but he sure did leave behind multiple legacies in the form of theories, books, and sporadic pop-culture appearances and of course – his warnings and predictions about the future of the universe and human life as we know it.
Among the many predictions Professor Hawking had made – his warnings about how aliens could possibly lead to humankind's doom are the most prominent and most widely taken into account.
One of his first warnings was about contacting extraterrestrial life, which he had discussed extensively in a television documentary titled Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places.
He stresses the possibilities of finding alien life on the potentially habitable planet Gliese 832c, which is about 16 light years away from Earth. But this contact wasn't going to be a breezy affair, Hawking had predicted and warned.
"If intelligent life has evolved, we should be able to hear it," he said. Hawking believes that man and extraterrestrial life from the exoplanet could potentially clash.
"One day we might receive a signal from a planet like this, but we should be wary of answering back. Meeting an advanced civilization could be like the Native Americans encountering Columbus. That didn't turn out so well."
Also, back in October 2017, when the large cigar-shaped asteroid dubbed Oumuamua had flown through our solar system, Hawking had predicted that it to be part of an alien probe – something that humans should be aware of.
"Researchers working on long-distance space transportation have previously suggested that a cigar or needle shape is the most likely architecture for an interstellar spacecraft since this would minimize friction and damage from interstellar gas and dust," Hawking had shared with Daily Star.
Among predictions about alien life and warnings about them wiping out humans, Hawking had also predicted how humans have just a thousand years left on this planet, and Artificial Intelligence will reach the potential of completely wiping out human existence in the future.
But of course – we remain indebted to the man for his contributions in letting us know what happened before the Big Bang and what actually lies within a black hole. While his predictions are yet to be proven true, there's no denying that he stressed on them for good reason.
Hawking died at the age of 76 in his home at Cambridge. He is survived by his wife and three children – Lucy, Robert and Timothy.