In nature, seemingly all things have purpose. Forest fires help sequoia seeds to sprout, scavengers dispose of the dead, mounds of bat droppings in a cave provide an infinite food source for all kinds of insects. Everything is perfectly suited to support the other: practical and pragmatic.
Only in the luxury of intelligence and self awareness are pieces not meant to fit together forced into union. Unbalanced ecosystems, pollution, zeppelin travel, humor. None are naturally practical. None are pragmatic. All are introduced or conjured up by humans.
Due to their massive intelligence in contrast to other creatures, human thinking can almost be defined by the ability to perceive the impractical. The human body isn’t efficient in the least for basic survival: Our skin is soft and easily torn. Our nails and teeth are dull, and our strength and stamina is pitiful compared to the rest of the animal kingdom. Only through superior intellect can we survive. How ironic that extreme intelligence let’s us afford to be stupid; to imagine the irrational.
Thus, I theorize that if we were to find intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe, our first clue would be nonessential technology brought on by the leisurely use of otherwise overwhelming mental facilities.