You can’t deny that as a species, humankind is rather… weird. We do all sorts of things that continually endanger ourselves (eating processed foods) while using powerful technologies at our disposal for the most mundane things, like shooting angry birds at egg-stealing pigs. And we’re probably the most diverse species on the planet.
Singapore, in particular, would be indisputably unique as a specimen of human civilisation. If aliens were to visit, they would find us even weirder than the average human being. So here are five things that aliens would positively marvel at if they landed in Singapore. Things that we take for granted every single day.
1. Why are we addicted to bottled water?
Bottled water. Credit: Pixabay
You’d think we’d be addicted to vices like drugs, alcohol, or other sorts of activities that are pretty illicit. Nope. We’re addicted to bottled water. It’s one of the lamest addictions to have, to the tune of $134 million spent on bottled water in 2015. It’s been proven that our tap water is perfectly safe to drink, yet we spend money on bottled water, which is a thousand times more expensive than basically the same thing from taps. It’s not like we even collect the bottles or eat them – it’s just that it seems cleaner and safer when it’s not.
Aliens would wonder if we would prefer to breathe bottled air too, I’d bet.
2. Why do tissue packets have special forcefield powers?
Ok this place has been choped with a tissue paper packet.
Any crowded hawker centre during lunch time will be filled with empty tables and seats that only have a tissue packet each to guard them. If you were an alien, you might wonder if those tissue packets generated forcefields that prevented people from sitting on them. The truth is that, the only thing stopping us from sitting down at a table with tissue packets, is our minds – possibly the most powerful, and effective weapon in the world.
We’d soon see aliens equipping their spaceships with tissue packets for their special protective properties too.
3. Why do we queue for the sake of queueing?
Another long queue. Credit: Pixabay
Queueing up for anything is one of the biggest wastes of time in modern human history. Yet as Singaporeans, we have this irresistible temptation to join any queue we see, because… there must be a reason why they’re queueing, right? It all boils down to our innate kiasuism, in that we’re worried that we might be missing out. Whether it’s for Michelin-starred minced meat noodles with braised mushrooms, cheese tarts, or limited edition McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, there will be a queue to brave.
If you put two nasi lemak stalls side by side, which one would people patronise? The one which tastes better or the one with a longer queue? You’d be surprised.
4. Why did we create the Merlion?
All hail the Merlion. Credit: Pixabay
As much as we’d love to believe that the Merlion is a true mythological creature, it’s actually the brainchild of the Singapore Tourism Board. And it’s a clear example of a creature that’s designed by committee. It has absolutely no usable appendages, meaning that it can only hunt by crushing whatever prey stupid enough to swim inside its mouth. You might say that ah, it could be herbivorous. But it’s part lion, so it’s definitely carnivorous or at the very least, omnivorous. It also doesn’t look like it could swim very well since it’s got no fins. And where are its gills? How would it survive in the wild?
Aliens would think we’re the worst designers of living creatures ever.
5. Why do we use powerful supercomputers to watch cat videos and post food pictures?
Supercomputer. Credit: Pixabay
The mobile phones of today are the supercomputers of yesterday – except that they are small enough to fit in the palm of our hand, don’t need to be constantly plugged in to a power source, and are connected to each other in a vast global network.
And instead of using them to solve train breakdowns or figure out a way to stop global warming, we’re sending each other videos of cute cats. Or animated GIFs. I think animated GIFs are the moving pictures of the future although ironically they were the moving pictures of the past.
It’s like using the Death Star to shoot down a mosquito. Aliens would baulk at our horrible misuse of such advanced technology.
The Space Between Us. Credit: Golden Village Pictures
You know who else would be weirded out by humans from Singapore? Humans from Mars, that’s who. They’d be absolutely confused by what we do here, like Gardner (Asa Butterfield) (seriously, do you not think of a tasty field of butter when you read his surname?) from The Space Between Us. It’s about a boy from Mars who comes to Earth to find out who his biological father is.
Mars to Earth? The Space Between Us is certainly a very big space.