If you are suddenly seeing lots of "Aliens" in messages you are receiving or tweets on Twitter, don't panic it's not that planet Earth has been invaded, it is that you haven't updated your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8.3, or your Mac to OS 10.10.3 yet.

With Apple's latest OS software updates that were released on Tuesday 8 April, the company has released a bevy of new emoji characters, symbols, and other shapes.

Not only are there over 300 new emoji to now chose from, including things like more families and country flags, but you can also change the skin tone of any emoji by just clicking and holding on the emoji and selecting a new colour, and it's these new additions are the the culprits.


New emojis showing on iOS 8.3 and then replaced with alien faces on iOS 8.2

The problem with new things is that it takes time for everyone to update their devices to see the changes Apple has made, and that in the meantime means alien faces as substitutes.

But it is not just Apple users using different versions of iOS or OS X that will notice strange things when they get creative with emoji.

Android phones and tablets treat the new Apple emoji's differently too. The same tweet read on a Samsung Galaxy S6 for example gives a completely different set of interpretations and in some cases completely different images.

Apple's old bald man emoji stays old on Android but grows a full head of hair while an alien from the classic video game space invaders becomes an alien with a big brain more akin to Mars Attacks.


New emojis showing on iOS 8.3 and then replaced with different emojis all together on Android

Of course as more and more update their software on their Apple devices the rather disturbing alien faces will no doubt disappear, but for the time being if you think you've just experienced an extra terrestrial encounter, and you're using an Apple device that not on the latest software release, i.e. iOS 8.3 or OS 10.10.3, then you probably have.