The search for potential extraterrestrial life typically centers around planets that resemble — or once resembled — the hospitable conditions on Earth. But a team of City University of New York physicists is proposing a different idea: a bizarre form of life could theoretically survive in the center of a star.

That’s not to say there are secret alien civilizations hiding inside stars, but rather that hypothetical lifeforms might theoretically be able to survive and reproduce before being destroyed by their hellish surroundings, ScienceAlert reports. While the CUNY physicists say their work is speculative, it could be an important paradigm shift in how we conceptualize and hunt for extraterrestrials.

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