Kinda close to the outer edges of a galaxy, there is a smallish, cool dwarf star. Orbiting it is a fairly large rocky planet with a moon, with millions of tiny moons orbiting to it closer. These tiny moons are weird, but we'll discuss that another time. It's got oceans, kinda the same color as its atmosphere. Normal for a lot of planets.
What's interesting is its terrain. It is heavily modified and colored by all kinds of organisms. Obviously, a lot of it is a greenish hue. Colored by simple photosynthetic creatures. Another creature is influencing this terra a lot faster that the green things. They modify it with materials pulled up from it and also some material from the green creatures.
These interesting creatures are big, loud, soft blobs of... flesh. They're bipedal, and have tentacles that end in little mini tentacles, for grasping. Their skin is very oily and stinky and frequently have gnarly fluids spewing out of it, and occasionally out of several holes on their bodies. So many dangerous bacteria and microbes live on this skin, and is even sometimes detrimental to the health of the blobs. They communicate by expelling used air to vibrate an organ located just behind their chewing orifice... and boy are they LOUD and scary sounding. Their offspring are even grubbier looking and are even louder than their adults. Because these grubby nymphs are clumsy and inexperienced, they are protected by the adults who are, not only protective of their offspring, but also got to great lengths, often violent, to protect their possessions, which is a complex concept that no other species on this planet has developed. On the not of violence and possession, let's discuss this.
Larger groups of these blobs, ranging from 300,000 to 800 Million members, will settle arguments or conflicts with other groups by... eliminating each other by propelling bits of abundant metal at each other with sulfur-based explosives, used in a single mechanical device to automate this deadly process. They'll also use these mean-ass weapons to claim other blobs' things, for the sake of having more things or space. Possession is an abstract concept communicated to one another, especially recently to attract mates or intimidate competition. The more things they have, the more well-respected they are among members of their group who have... less things. And the material of the objects they possess does not correlate with the value of the object inducing such power; a leaf of paper mad from the pulp of the green-things' stems can be worth more than a functional machine they've invented for transportation. We're not sure why.
This idea of possession gives a nice boost, not only to social order, but to trade as well. This intelligence species of oily farting blobs has created a system of trade that involves chips of metal with a fixed value etched into it, so that they may trade these chips of metal for objects to add to their collections. Members who cooperate in various social operations are rewarded with these chips of metal for their hard work. Later, larger values would require too many chips of metal to carry around, so larger values are printed on the aforementioned paper only by very specific members of the group. Much later in their evolution, they created an electrical system that expands all over the group so that these creatures can store their net worth and/or withdraw it or parts of it for use, for the sake of convenience.
Economy isn't the only thing the blobs invented. Remember those thousands of tiny moons that orbit low to their planet? They apparently created those, generally out of the same materials as their metal chips. Most of these mini moons are built and tossed into orbit for the purpose of communication, though they still have yet to achieve a global consciousness, due to greeder leaders or simply because certain groups don't have enough metal chips to buy a system.
They're also aware of their own existence but also ask why. So their own version of science is performed to answer their curiosities, and much of their findings is stored among the giant system of information they live within. They study other creatures to learn about their own origin, and to perform science efficiently, they've developed a language, a system of categorization much better that farts and spits from each other's weird drooly oral sphincters.
They even have a name for themsleves and the world they live in. Translated, their farty noises claim that they call themselves humans. They label their planet as Earth, and they call existences similar to their own "Life".