Loosely-defined hacktivist group Anonymous is, like everything in life, complicated. They've done great things, like messing with the Westboro Baptist Church.
But then, they also do things like... release melodramatic videos about the discovery of intelligent alien life.
The video's description is straight-forward: "Latest anonymous message in 2017 just arrived with a huge announcement about the Intelligent Alien Life! NASA says aliens are coming! Many other planets throughout the universe probably hosted intelligent life long before Earth did."
The video even discusses aliens who are trying to come to Earth: "These visitors are human-like, but much larger in size."
Intelligent life? On other planets? Alien life here?! That's pretty farfetched. And I can't help but laugh at the idea that, as big as the universe is, all intelligent life is somehow human-like. And I mean, come on, if NASA had discovered intelligent life, don't you think Trump would have blown the lid off the whole thing by now? He's not the best at keeping secrets.
But I want to believe. I want to believe that I will one day live in a post-Men In Black world, where cockroach-like aliens, open and unafraid of human backlash, ring me up for my daily kombucha. And instead of a 10-hour flight to Chile, I'll do a four-year cryogenic freeze to reach the Andromeda system for a nice, breezy vacay.
Yeah, I could get behind that. And so can a bunch of other people who have seen Anonymous's announcement.
Questionable photoshop skills and distracting voice modulation aside, the video became so popular that Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen had to take to Twitter to address the claim:
To which I say: damn it.
That said, the hyperbolic video does contain at least a kernel of truth in it. Zurbuchen did state in a speech to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology last year that NASA is on the verge of some truly profound discoveries:
Our search is making remarkable progress and astrobiology is a focus of a growing number of NASA missions. [...] With all of this activity related to the search for life, in so many different areas, we are on the verge of one of the most profound discoveries, ever.
While that's not quite ~aliens among us~ territory, we're hopefully inching closer and closer to hanging with E.T.
Scientists have discovered a lot of new Earth-like planets in the past few months. Like, a lot. That means the chances of discovering Earth-like life have increased substantially. And while the closest of these planets are 40 light years away, I can't help but calculate: NASA just needs to come up with the technology to travel at light-speed by, saaaaay, 2034 so I can get to one of these planets and hang with aliens by the time I'm 85. Totally doable.
OK, so maybe Anonymous got this wrong. Maybe my heart is a little broken. But hey, I can still hold out for light-speed space travel this century, right?