The Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, the first recorded sneeze, was in 1894.
The William K.L. Dickson film relays the five-second tale of Fred Ott where he took some snuff and gave it a sniff.
This is the oldest surviving motion picture with a copyright.
Made for a publication with an edition of the Harper’s Weekly, The Sneeze captivated the attention of many; Film critic Roger Ebert even gave it a 4 on 4 in his book of “The Greatest Movies” made.
The movie has been immortalised in The American National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for its apt portrayal of human culture and behaviour.
The Voyager Golden Records are a similar example of the preservation of such quotidian human habits. Launched in 1977, the sister spacecrafts called Voyager 1 and 2 carry what scientists label, ‘The Sounds of the Earth’. There are 115 images such as the human anatomy, eating, sneezing and washing among other activities that depict life on Earth, a number of sounds and songs, and greetings in 55 languages, new and old.
Encased in Aluminium and an electroplated sample isotope Uranium-238, the gold-plated copper disc is surprisingly not the first instance of humans trying to make other possible species of organisms aware of their existence.
The spacecrafts Pioneers 10 and 11 also carried metal plaques with information on their origin planet and timeline, in hopes that either of them would be intercepted by extra terrestrial beings.
Human beings have always been curious.
Whether it is in the case of recording a sneeze, inventing a wheel for transportation, or a baby putting unknown objects in its mouth to find out what they are, we’ve come a long way.
While we may not have any solid proof that alien life exists, it is reasonable to expect so.
There exist multiple galaxies in our universe with their own sets of planets, conditions, and characteristics unique to them.
But every such galaxy has a possibility of millions of habitable exoplanets with Earth-like conditions.
There have been speculations for decades about the possibility of a multiverse, dark matter and even parallel dimensions. But scientists seem to think that even if these exist, they can’t be enough in themselves to become a revelation, unless humans find definite proof and study them.
Imagine a world where you don’t have ice cream. Would you survive without going to your favourite cafe every so often to grab that steaming hot cup of chocolate, or without the monotonous din of human beings going about the hustle and bustle of ordinary life?
If other beings exist, would they have languages like ours?
Protein being a basic element in all organisms, would they possess physical attributes similar to our own?
How different would human beings be if dinosaurs didn’t go extinct? Would you share your vegetarian platter with the friendly neighborhood Diplodocus?
When you look at human life from the perspective of the Universe, you realise that even minute occurrences have an influence on the time-lapse of our existence here. Multiple asteroids pass by the Earth’s atmosphere at distances even closer than the Moon, but go undetected until later.
In 2004, 99942 Apophis, a Near-Earth Asteroid, even reached level 4, the highest level reached yet on the Torin Scale used to determine the level of certainty of a Near-Earth Object (NEO) to impact Earth.
Despite the lack of evidence suggesting the existence of other Human-like intelligent beings in Space, one cannot help but marvel at the accidental creation of conditions habitable enough for Homo sapiens to evolve.
It’s strange to think that we are the ones who discovered us, in a way. That we are the only apparent intelligent life form cannot be a coincidence. Maybe there is another civilization out there, equally anxious to seek us out.
The large expanse of space serves as a justifiable reason for our inability to come across them yet, but we cannot be disheartened by it. With the steady advancements in technology, there is still a lot of ground-breaking material that may be found in the coming years.
Human life is a very crucial aspect in the quest for extra-terrestrial beings. Our culture, habitats and conditions serve as important marks of distinction that create a unique system of the Earth’s biodiversity.
It wouldn’t be that shocking if tomorrow we come across evidence suggesting alien life, as there are billions of species that remain undiscovered, even in our own sphere.
On the golden record is a handwritten inscription that says, “To the makers of music – all worlds, all times”.
Would aliens have the concept of music?
What do you think?
This article has been written by Manya, 1st Year.