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Grabby Aliens

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Updated May 04, 2023 at 05:28PM EDT by Zach.

Added Mar 20, 2023 at 05:15PM EDT by Don.

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Grabby Aliens, also referred to as Loud Aliens, refers to hypothetical alien civilizations that spread across the universe while preventing other intelligent life from reaching technological maturity. The model is often referenced in the context of the Great Filter, the Fermi Paradox and the Kardashev scale, and is used as a supporting theory to the assumption that human civilization appeared very early into the expected lifetime of our universe.


The term was originally coined by George Mason University professor Robin Hanson.

On February 1st, 2021, a team of researchers led by Hansen published the scientific paper "If Loud Aliens Explain Human Earliness, Quiet Aliens Are Also Rare."[1][2] The paper theorized that human civilization appeared early into the history of the universe and proposed a supporting theory, commonly referred to "grabby aliens" or "loud aliens," as an explanation for this speculated earliness.

The "grabby aliens" model states that there are civilizations that expand at a common rate (a fraction of the speed of light), make visible changes to the regions of the universe they travel through, last a long time and prevent advanced life from appearing in the explored territories. The model implies that human's appearance early into the history of the universe does not make it an outlier but rather one of many advanced civilizations that have not yet become "grabby," and, if grabby aliens do exist, they will soon occupy the most of the visible universe, after which new civilizations will no longer be able to appear.

On September 22nd, 2021, the YouTube[3] channel Rational Animations uploaded an animated video about the model that accumulated over 1.3 million views in two years (shown below).


The theory gained recognition online thanks to prominent science channels on YouTube, such as Kurzgesagt and PBS Space Time. On November 9th, 2022, PBS Space Time uploaded[4] a video about the model that received over 1.3 million views in five months (shown below). On April 11th, 2023, Kurzgesagt uploaded[5] a video on the subject that received over 5.2 million views and contributed towards the public awareness of the theory.

Various Examples

40 UVJ @goth @goth600 My dealer: got some straight gas Al risk" you're gonna fuckin fry lol Me: yeah whatever 20 minutes later this strain called "existential Me: dude wtf we are the grabby aliens My friend, pacing: we should air-strike all the data centers 6:50 AM. Apr 6, 2023 42.7K Views BioBootloader @bio_bootloader tfw you realize humanity's birthright is to be the grabby aliens 6:57 PM - Mar 28, 2023 27.7K Views :

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