Prometheus cleaned up over last weekend, and is probably the most popular movie about ancient astronauts ever made. Of course, not many people know what that means. The ancient astronaut theory holds that extraterrestrials visited Earth some time in the past and created life or jump-started evolution. In Prometheus’ case, it’s ripped goo-guzzling albinos. If you’ve heard about this theory previously, chances are it was on the History Channel’s ridiculous series Ancient Aliens. Still, the theory has been a major part of our favorite sci fi. And here is a list of our five favorite ancient astronauts:
The Magratheans of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
The Magratheans became wealthy by building luxury planets for their clients. Their most famous creation was Earth. Architect Slartibartfast was particularly proud of his fjords of Norway. When pan-dimensional beings failed in their quest to find the answer to everything (42, of course), they had to think bigger. They decided to create a planet/supercomputer, and had the Magratheans make Earth. Then, unfortunately, the useless Golgafrinchams had to show up and become our ancestors.
Hera Agathon of Battlestar Galactica
Before the finale of Battlestar Galactica went off the deep end with a montage of ominous robots in our daily life set to Jimi Hendrix, it gave us the answer to the origins of human life. It turns out the series is a prelude to human civilization. Humanity boils down to a mitochondrial Eve, a common female ancestor. According to Battlestar Galactica, that Eve is Hera Agathon. She’s the daughter of the cylon Number Eight and Carl Agathon. Basically, we’re all at least a quarter robot.
The Monolith of 2001: A Space Odyssey
The monolith isn’t an astronaut, per se, but it’s the only remnant of a race of intelligent beings called the Firstborn. In 2001, it kick-started civilization with just a touch. A beaten down group of hominids took a nap in a cave, and the next morning, there was the black monolith. Understandably, they were apprehensive, but touched it anyway. Then when in a fight, one of the hominids realized he could use a bone as a weapon. And the rest is history.
Those Who Came Before of Assassin’s Creed
At first glance, Assassin’s Creed is pretty much an excuse to free run around medieval and Renaissance cities such as Jerusalem, Florence, Rome, Istanbul, and Venice. Beneath the rooftop assassinations is a storyline featuring an ancient civilization coming to Earth and creating humans in their image. They used humanity as a slave labor force until the humans eventually revolted against their god-like overlords. Now Those Who Came Before live on in their tech and in ancient myths.
Cthulhu of The Call of Cthulhu
A list of ancient astronauts wouldn’t be complete without Ol’ Squidface. Cthulhu is the oldest entry on this list, and one of the earliest examples of an ancient astronaut in literature. Cthulhu is part of a multi-dimensional group of beings called the “Old Ones” who used to run the planet millions of years ago. These days, Cthulhu spends its time in a death-like sleep in its underwater lair, R’lyeh. Despite his eons sleeping, Cthulhu’s powerful enough to make people go insane when they look at a statue of him.
Did we miss any on the list?