It is a question that has vexed mankind for centuries: Are we alone in the universe? And according to a survey, it still tops the list of mysteries we are most desperate to see solved.

In second place was a curiosity for when a cure for cancer will be found, followed by whether it will ever be proven that God exists.

ET: The question of whether we are alone in the universe tops the list of mysteries people most want to see solved

Further down the chart were more down-to-earth issues such as wanting to know if the fridge light really does go off when the door is closed.

Other top concerns in the poll of 2,000 people by TV channel Eden were the size of space and whether time travel will ever be possible.

Saturn’s foggy moon Titan has oceans of water ‘sloshing around’ under crust of ice. Huge ‘solar tornadoes’ heat the area above our sun to millions of degrees centigrade – and find could power reactors on Earth.

Also featured was the classic conundrum of which came first, the chicken or the egg.

The poll was carried out to mark the launch of Science Month of TV channel Eden, and found that three quarters of British adults professed an interest in science and a similar percentage wished they were better informed.

Adrian Wills, UKTV’s General Manager of Factual, said: ‘It’s been more than 500 years since the majority of people believed that the earth was flat, so it’s important to note that our understanding of science moves at an astonishing speed. This survey shows that most of us still query our place in the universe and many of the bigger unsolved questions of science. ‘Eden’s Science Month attempts to answer some of these questions, though clearly there’s still much for us to learn.’


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