The 116 photos NASA chose to explain our world to aliens

Somewhere out there, E.T. is scratching his head in confusion.

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In 1977 the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes were launched into outer space. Their mission was to explore the outer solar system, with the idea that they will orbit the Milky Way for the foreseeable future.

But after their mission was done, these two spacecraft would just keep floating away, going where no man has gone before. Scientists figured, hey, these fellas will be out there for a while. What if they bump into new friends? ALIEN FRIENDS?

Enter the Voyager Golden Record. These are phonograph records (yep, old school vinyl) that were included aboard both Voyager spacecraft.

Source: NASA

They contain both sounds and images selected to display the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are meant for any intelligent alien life or any future humans who may find them.

They also included a message from famous astronomer Carl Sagan.

How will the aliens know how to play the record, you may ask? Vox.com made this interactive image with all of the instructions, so hover over the yellow circles for the explanation:

So, without further ado, here are the 116 photos encoded in the Golden Record. The album has everything from mathematical definitions to the human anatomy, and, inexplicably, a Chinese dinner party.

Feature image © NAIC

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