The First Animated GIF to be Beamed Into Deep Space


We humans have done quite a lot in the span of a thousand years. We’ve discovered new lands by sail boat, sent men to the moon, and successfully managed to ruin the economy-class flying experience as we know it. So now that it’s 2013 — the obvious move would be to beam an animated GIF to a distant solar system, right?

Absolutely! And that’s exactly what’s happening on Tuesday, June 18th. Conceptual artist Kim Asendorf has created a short GIF of himself (he calls it “Humans watching Digital Art“) that will be beamed into outer space via the LONE SIGNAL METI (Messaging Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project, making it the first animated GIF sent into deep space:

Humans watching Digital Art, 2011. Kim Asendorf

Humans watching Digital Art, 2011. Kim Asendorf

The target? Gliese 526 — a whopping 17.6 light years away from us here on Earth. Yeah, not the kind of place you can easily send an email to. According to Asendorf, it’s ” identified as a potentially habitable solar system in The Catalog of Nearby Habitable Systems.”

So basically, it is hoped that the beam of data (which includes more than Asendorf’s GIF, by the way) will reach extraterrestrials. We’re not saying this is giving aliens a reason to invade us, but it’s something to keep in mind, doomsday preppers.

The METI signal will arrive at its destination in 17.6 years.

  • Mech Knight

    Gliese 526 citizen: “Hey guys!!! ZOMG!!! There’s a hot chick in a mini-skirt….”

  • 365234643

    and now the aliens think we all look like retards..?

  • Jason K

    Of all the gifs to send into outer space…

  • Richard Ford

    Can the new PP authors stick to writing about photography and stop trying to be funny? It is getting old with the same expectation of yet another lame gag in each new posting.

  • anonny

    So we assume they have technology to view GIF files?

  • chubbs

    The important question is, do aliens pronounce if “gif” or “jif”

  • Doozy

    An alcoholic’s animated picture really does paint us as a pretty intelligent race.

  • Mike

    No, no, he’s stimulating his brain!

  • digitalpain

    this guy looks ugly..

  • 9inchnail

    He looks like a chimp. That’s why they picked this GIF. To make aliens think we’re still primitive and pose no thread to them. If they think, we just climbed down from trees, they won’t invade us. Let’s just hope, they’re not like us. Humans usually see it justified to invade countries just because the indiginous people are not as advanced as them.