Illustration by Minna

Far beyond Earth exists a void of never-ending darkness and celestial bodies. It has the potential to be the scariest place ever or the most amazing place ever. It’s called outer space and it’s fucking awesome.

Outer space is so beautiful! It’s filled with misty plasma clouds, swirling galaxies, and millions and millions of stars. Space is so mesmerizing that it’s served as the muse for some of the greatest directors, writers, and musicians of all time. What would musical artists like Air, the Chemical Brothers, and M83 be without outer space? It’s been explored in classic movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Fifth Element, and Star Wars. Designer Christopher Kane made outer space the theme of his 2011 resort collection, spawning dozens of knock-offs.

It’s not surprising that so many people are inspired by space. It’s a blank slate for our imaginations. We have no idea what aliens or planets beyond our galaxy look like, but ever since the Renaissance humans have been dreaming up all kinds of possibilities. Haven’t you been dreaming about space too?

Think of all the planets we haven’t explored yet! The Kepler spaceship has spotted 2,321 potential planets in our galaxy so far—that’s just a fraction of the hundreds of BILLIONS of planets that scientists believe are inside our ONE GALAXY. And scientists say there could be 100 billion galaxies! Are you really freaked out yet, because I am, like, really freaked out.

But just think of all the aliens we haven’t met yet! Why haven’t they contacted us? Forty-six of the potential planets Kepler’s seen are in the “habitable zone,” meaning liquid water could exist on them, which means, who knows, ALIENS!? And 10 of those habitable-zone planets are near-Earth-size. What if each of those 10 planets is an identical copy of Earth and, like us, they don’t have the technology to call up another planet? Or maybe those planets support bloodthirsty monsters who have been plotting their attack on Earth for centuries! Or, like the History Channel show Ancient Aliens explains, aliens descended on Earth thousands of years ago and helped the Egyptians build pyramids and the Aztecs build temples and, essentially, were the inspiration for all religious icons that descended from the sky? I know that sounds totally ridiculous, but you have to watch Ancient Aliens to understand that it’s TRUE, IT’S ALL TRUE.

Outer space really is the greatest. Sometimes I’ll look up at the moon and get this intense realization that humans have walked on it. I mean, seriously?! We, HUMANS, have traveled to space! It is an accepted fact, old news, stuck in the history textbooks. But when you really concentrate on that idea, the idea that we have the means to travel into outer space and are working on traveling farther and farther into it, it is just mind-blowing. Wow. Now that is literally the best thing ever. ♦