A new video from the science-focused YouTube channel Kurzgesagt breaks down the different stages of advancement that an alien civilization could theoretically undergo. And each one of the broadly delineated stages of technological evolution is more unthinkable than the last. The most advanced alien civilization on the scale, for reference, has total control of multiple universes.
Kurzgesagt (German for “In a Nutshell”) recently posted the video, noting that it explores the Kardashev scale. For those unfamiliar, the Kardashev scale is a method of measuring a civilization’s level of technological advancement. Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev first proposed the scale in 1964.
The video discusses how the Kardashev scale broadly delineates the different stages of technological evolution based on power consumption. These different stages are referred to as Type I, Type II, and Type III civilizations, with each using more energy than the last. But not just a little more energy: an astronomical amount more. Literally.
The different types of alien civilization include, from least to most advanced (I-III): ones that can harness the power of their planet; ones that can harness the power of their home star with a Dyson sphere (below); and ones that can harness the power of their entire galaxy. (Our own civilization doesn’t even register on the scale.)
Since its introduction in ’64, the scale has been revised with Type IV and Type V civilizations. As the video notes, Type IV civilizations would be ones that could harness the power of multiple galaxies. Or even the entire universe itself.
Despite how unbelievable a Type IV civilization is, however, a Type V may make one question reality. That’s because a Type V civilization controls collections of universes and has made our own for some unthinkable reason. And while humanity will undoubtedly never encounter a Type V civilization, the existence of one would make sense. The year 2020 would be especially entertaining for universe-creators, after all.
What do you think about this Kurzgesagt video discussing the different types of alien civilization? Do you think we’ll ever encounter a different type than our own? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Feature image: Kurzgesagt