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Types of human and alien civilizations

Updated: May 26, 2020

Is there a limit to which we can advance in technology? Or are there some levels we need to achieve as a civilization? That's what Nikolay Kardeshev, a Soviet scientist, thought of, and gave us a scale (Kardeshev scale) on how advanced we are and how far we can go, technology wise. This scale from 0-6 depends on the power we use from our planet and the universe around us. So let's gear up, pick up some popcorn, and read and imagine about the 7 futuristic levels of any civilization.



Type O civilization


This civilization is just capable of harnessing the energy available on their home planet. That includes the fossil fuels, solar and wind power we get, and the nuclear power we generate. Currently, human civilization is at 0.7 on Kardeshev scale as we are still learning to use the power sources with good efficiency. It is thought that we will reach Type 1 civilization in just over 100 years.


civilization technology development kardeshev scale
Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

Type 1 civilization


This civilization can use all the power available on a planet, and harness all the energy, with 100% output and very high efficiency. If we reach there, we will have good control over the weather, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. We can control the growth of flora and fauna too.

This is also the time when the population will grow so high that the energy demands of the planet will overcome the power available, and thus it will be the time to look up to the stars and other planets. This can also be the end of civilization due to the wars over energy/oil etc, and lot of scientists believe that most civilizations in universe don't pass this stage, and hence we don't see any aliens around us. But if we cross this level, then we can look towards a utopian future.


lightning civilization technology development kardeshev scale
Photo by Brandon Morgan on Unsplash

Type 2 civilization


This interstellar civilization is capable of harnessing the power of their sun totally. This is where we can build Dyson spheres (read about them here) that can directly output energy from our sun and send it to Earth (or maybe we will live much closer to Sun!). We will be capable of using energies from different planets, able to completely mine them and use whole solar system as a resource.


dyson sphere civilization technology development kardeshev scale
A Dyson sphere | Image from DeviantArt

Type 3 civilization


An intergalactic civilization like this will be capable of using all the energy available in their galaxy, and inhabiting different solar systems. We can use planets as bricks for construction, move them around to different solar systems, observe and harness supernova explosions, and can even make our own stars! Most fiction movies show us this utopian future.


galaxy civilization technology development kardeshev scale
Photo by Juskteez Vu on Unsplash

Type 4 civilization


This universal civilization will be able to harness energy from whole universe, and all the galaxies in it. We will be able to travel anywhere at the blink of an eye, much much faster than speed of light. We will have the power to destroy and build whole new galaxies for our mega-scale projects.


fiction civilization technology development kardeshev scale
Photo by WojtekFus | Deviantart

Type 5 civilization


A multiversal (is that even a word yet?) civilization like this can travel from one multiverse to another very easily. We will be able to alter and use different parallel universes. NASA recently proved existence of a multiverse where time run backwards, so maybe this theory is not that far-fetched!


multiverse civilization technology development kardeshev scale
Photo by robbinblind | Deviantart

Type 6 civilization


If God exists, he/she/they is from a Type 6 civilization. We will be beyond the concept of space and time. Creating planets, life, and even universes will be a meager task for us. We will have control over, basically, everything. It is where perfection lies. Maybe we were created by a Type 6 civilization and someday we will be destroyed by them? Food for thought. :)


god civilization technology development kardeshev scale
Photo by Akajork | Deviantart

Which civilization is your favorite, and where would you like to live? Let's discuss in the comments below!


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