The conclusion of a 17th-century book describing alien life?
The book of more than 300 years concludes that extraterrestrial beings must exist.
A rare edition published in 1698 was found at an antiquities evaluation event in Moreton-in-Marsh,
England, by book evaluator Jim Spencer, who said its content seemed “an otherworldly find”.
The book was written by Christiaan Huygens, a physicist, mathematician and astronomer well known
for his important studies of light, colors and sound shortly before his death in 1695, and explores his
fascination with the potential existence of extraterrestrial beings and discusses his ideas about life on
other planets, which he imagined to be similar to that found on Earth.
Titled “The Celestial World Discover’d: Or, Conjectures Concerning the Habitants, Plants and
Productions of the Worlds in the Planets”, he questions why God would create other planets if it were
not to serve a greater purpose than just being admired from Earth.
Knowing that his ideas could be accused of being in conflict with the Bible, Huygens argued that
extraterrestrial life is neither confirmed nor denied by the Bible, and postulates that the great distance
between the planets meant that God would not intend for beings on one planet to know about the
beings of the other planets.
Huygens concluded that the availability of water in liquid form is essential to life and that
extraterrestrials should have hands and feet like humans because of their convenience.
The book attempts to describe what intelligent extraterrestrial life could be like on other planets, especially
jupiter and Saturn.
“What could we invent or imagine that could be so exactly accommodated to all designed uses as
hands? Celestial beings must also have feet, unless they have discovered the art of flying on some of
these worlds,” says Huygens’ book.
The writer believed that extraterrestrials would probably be interested in astronomy and observation,
sail boats and listen to music, but would also suffer misfortunes, wars, afflictions, and poverty
“because that’s what brings us to invention and progress.”
The book is considered such a rare find that it should have a starting price of £2,000 to £3,000 when it
goes to auction.
Evaluator Jim Spencer said flipping through the pages gave a curious feeling due to their subject
matter belonging to the future or science fiction.
“It’s fascinating to think who turned these pages around in 1698 and what they must have felt when
reading these descriptions of life on Jupiter or Saturn before looking at the night sky and who knows
how our own thoughts on these subjects will look like to people looking back in another 324 years,”