Terrifying reason we DON'T hear from aliens – and it spells bad news for Earth

SCIENTISTS may have found a solution to a cosmic quandary that has baffled alien-hunters for decades.

In a recent research paper, two astrobiologists provide a new theory to explain why we've never run into extraterrestrials.

They argue that, just as cities and nations collapse following rapid expansion, so might alien civilisations.

That means life beyond Earth may never advance enough to create intergalactic spacecraft that can reach our planet.

While some don't last long enough to reach us, others fall apart and fail to make contact.

If the theory proves true, it could mean humanity is racing towards a similar fate in the not-too-distant future.

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The research, published earlier this month in the Royal Society Interface, is the latest attempt to solve the Fermi Paradox.

The paradox describes the contradiction between the size of the universe and the lack of any evidence of life beyond Earth.

We know there are countless habitable planets within the cosmos and yet have never found proof of extraterrestrials.

Dr Michael Wong of the Carnegie Institution for Science and Caltech's Dr Stuart Bartlett have their own theory as to why.

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In the paper, they highlight that civilisations on Earth tend to meet their end after expanding too much.

Examples of this can be found throughout history from the Roman Empire to the Ancient Egyptians.

Wong and Bartlett believe that this same principle applies to space civilisations.

If any extraterrestrial society becomes too big, it will likely collapse before it can build intergalactic spacecraft.

That means intelligent life on distant worlds simply can't reach us before they run themselves into the ground.

Wong and Bartlett say that, while some civilisations burn out, others are aware of their impending doom and choose to stop growing.

The universe is therefore full of societies that either shine bright but quickly or else reach a state of equilibrium.

The academics sound the alarm that humanity may be on the path of the former, rather than the latter.

The Fermi Paradox has had scientists scratching their heads for decades.

Named after the Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi, it can be summed up with the question: Where are all the aliens?

Scientists have previously posited that our failure to find ET may be because of a scarcity of intelligent civilisations.

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Any that exist are so rare and distant from one another that the chances of them meeting are next-to-none.

Other theories lean towards the idea that intelligent life knows of our existence but simply chooses not to interact with us.

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